That was fun.
Beauty and the War (X Playing Pieces) demo BETA
A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux
On the island of legends and fairytales, you are a Phoenix, a healer of peace and blood...but can you mend the age-old scars of war? Especially when you are desire, with hair as dark as a raven's wing and skin as white as snow.
Your choices will determine the reign of Virgo Island.
- 2 and a 1/2 days (roughly 1-2 hours of gameplay)
- Many, many branching choices
- 5 bachelors and 2 hidden ones
- Over 25 illustrations and a few animated ones
- A rich fantasy world
Will you remain loyal to your guardians, the mysterious clan of the Vi, who now rule with an iron fist? Or will you side with the conquered, who once hunted you without mercy?
There are the Hulder, beautiful yet devious creatures. Then, there's the Imugi, your childhood friend among them, and many more clans you may recognize from ancient myths.
Make alliances. Uncover murder plots. Fall in love.
Just remember that men have gone to war because of a woman.
Thanks for checking out the demo BETA of Beauty and the War (X Playing Pieces). Did you like it? We'd love to know what you think.
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Went through everything I could find, and I'm looking forward to the full release. Good stuff.
Noticed you asked someone how they felt about horror/dark romance... I'm biased towards such things myself, and an actual horror otome/otome with horror elements would be wonderful! I'd buy that in a heartbeat, and I know I'm not the only one; there's a market for everything, after all, and there's already so much fluffy fluff everywhere. It has its place, sure, but I'm quite tired of it, honestly.
That said... write what you want to write. Please don't feel the need to change your VN because someone is overly sensitive and thinks it would be "better" without them. The reverse is also true here, as I feel you shouldn't change things to appeal to someone like myself, either. Too many times, on many sites, I've seen people poke and prod a creator until they got the changes they wanted (I'm not speaking of constructive criticism, as that's a completely separate thing), and the end product was worse off because it tried to be too many things at once and as a result, didn't succeed in any of them.
While this didn't quite happen with a VN called Rock Robin (really good, imo) the writer was told by some that she had to change the protagonist, because said character was "a complete bitch". No, she had an actual personality (with development!) and was honestly the most real protagonist I've seen in a female-targeted VN, ever, and the player isn't forced to pick from a bunch of options that are basically a slightly different way of saying "I'm sorry" (otome protagonists are always apologising for things they didn't do, and often apologise to the person treating them like garbage! wtf). The writer realised changing Robin would result in a VN she didn't want, and thankfully ignored the naysayers.
While Ambrosia is obviously not Robin, nor would I expect her to be, this is only the demo and I have no idea what you plan for her down the road. Really, I just felt the Robin example was relevant to the whole "write what you want" thing.
TL, DR: Write what *you* want first and foremost, and don't cave to "polite requests" (I find most are quite passive aggressive, actually) to change something. Don't let me, or anyone else, influence you into making something you don't want. I'll be playing the final product regardless, looking for every possible path.
*Looks at bank account, looks at the game...* Fuck it, its worth it.
Aww, thank you so much, Artemis_Ameretsu. Your support really means a lot to us! Every little bit helps us with the development of this game. We'll do our best! If you have any other feedback or questions, feel free to let us know.
I loved Don't Take This Risk (after watching Markiplier play it) and played this game in hopes of learning more about the main character. I love these characters too. My question is do we get to do the Vi's horse challenge or is that for the full game. Also I LOVE the deer. He is so cute!
Thanks, dslerner! Glad to hear it. As for the Vi's "horse challenge"...did you really want to see how that went? Normally, I was going to hand-wave the treatment scene, but I don't mind including it if you want to see the horse (or get to know that particular Vi?).
I'm glad you're enjoying the game so far - and the little deer! He loves you, too.
I absolutely loved the demo! I can't wait to play all the games and am especially looking forward to the full release. Do you have an expected timeline for the full release?
Keep up the great work! :D
It will be awesome if you add voice actors for the characters.
Looking forward to the full version<3
Hi, Feat_Yuzuki! We're actually looking into that right now, so it's a very distinct possibility.
We're glad you're looking forward to the full release! If you're looking for updates and if you haven't done this already, feel free to follow us on tumblr. My activity may be a bit sporadic over the holidays, but if you have any questions or feedback, I'll get to it as soon as I can. You can also leave a comment here or e-mail us at:
ERM....might I request that Wind sound somewhat similar to Lord Sesshomaru (english voice) *pushes tips of pointer fingers together and looks around room nervously* ..please? XD don't judge me....
(he's the one with the long silver hair)
IT'S FINE IF YOU GO A DIFFERENT DIRECTION WITH WIND'S VOICE! I'M JUST.....making a suggestion for an idea on how Wind could sound...
Ooh, Inuyasha! It's been a while since I saw that. Thanks for the suggestion, ocupers. I already have a voice for Wind in mind, which may or may not fall in line with Sesshomaru's voice. You'll have to find out! Hopefully, you'll consider it heartstopping either way.
I've finished the demo right now (well no, I've completed the survey before coming here), and I'm utterly in love! I'm so hyped for the full game now - honestly, it's awesome to see a very complex otome game so full with choices, and all of them at least a little bit meaningful!
The only thing I'm sad about is not being able to interact with all of the bachelors in the demo, but it makes sense of course. It's just me wanting to know them haha!
I've answered the questions from the LemmaSoft thread, so I'll put these below since I don't have an account on there. But before doing that, let me say I LOVE the presentation of your game! The narrative style, the intro to the clan from the prince's perspective, how the clans are presented, and all that details that add up to make a very immersive experience. I think none of the questions really cover that, so I wanted to tell it before!
Oh, and keep in mind I've answered the first set of questions before playing and the second one after, so you can see my honest opinions and how they changed or not. Oh and a warning... long comment incoming haha!
1. Are you interested in playing Beauty and the War (X Playing Pieces)? What do you make of it so far and is there anything you're particularly curious about?
Yes. And the thing I'm really curious about is something you said about the game: "Do you want to be independent? Go for it. However, that doesn't mean someone won't fall for you - perhaps, even to the point of resorting to blackmail or kidnap..." - I have a weakness for relationships that start REALLY badly, and if the MC being kidnapped by one of the guys but then slowly falling for him is a thing, it woulld be really interesting. So yeah, I'm curious about the whole thing about guys falling for the MC even if she doesn't necessarily tries to court them.
2. I'd love to hear your opinions on the characters. Do you have a favorite? The entire cast has yet to be revealed, but from what you can see so far, who would you befriend, romance, and/or antagonize?
From the descriptions, I like them all, at least a little bit. The one I like the less may be Night, but I still like him. My favorite before starting the game is Chase, with no doubts, because I love trolls and I have a big weakness for runts, and he's both! Onyx and Alexandrite are interesting too, because I like characters that are despised or said to be heartless - though I don't always like them once I get to know them in game (usually I either love or hate them, actually - depends on the direction chosen for their behavior).
3. How do you think you'll play the game? Would you try to make a bunch of allies? Use your charm to forge peace? Or just try to live your life, keeping out of trouble?
I don't know yet - I must get to know the characters and the world. I guess I'll play with my guts! Though I don't think I'd like to rely on charm.
1. What were your expectations going into the game? And how did Beauty and the War (X Playing Pieces) meet or contradict them?
I've expected a more classical VN with less freedom and choices of actions - it was quite nice to be thrown in such a complex game! Other than that, I did expect for it to be quite unique, since I've played "Don't take that risk" before, and I see how you're not affraid of making very unique and bold choices about your games. I wasn't disappointed!
2. Tell me. How did you spend your two days? There are a lot of choices, so I'm curious what you decided to do and who you tried to befriend.
I've started with going to the forest and things like that on the first day, but I've tried to focus more on the wounded on the second day, though I wanted to remain balanced and help with dishes and so on too, when I was able to. I've tried to be friendly with everyone, but I've decided to focus on Chase since he was the character that I liked the most before starting the game and I had decided to try his romantic path.
3. What are your thoughts on the story and the characters now? Do you have a favorite? What were you feeling during the last scene at the end of the demo?
It's hard to talk about the story before it really began - at this point, I'd say it's a "setting" rather than a "story", to be honest. But overall, I'd say I'm pretty intrigued about how it'll all unfold, and what's the deal with the situation in the intro of the game. How dit it all end like that? By the way, I like how you're not playing AS the main character here, but you're "guessing" what she did and all - nice feature! Now, about the characters... I like all of the characters I met until now, and as far as the bachelors I know go, I stick with Chase as predicted - he's really awesome! But I think I actually like Viktor even more, even though I talked to him like... once? But he left a strong impression on me! Now, the last scene... it was stressful, but it made me consider Wind as a more interesting character that I originally thought! Oh, and Onyx seemed cool too (oh dear, I'll have to play this game sooo many times - all the choiiices!)
4. What are you looking forward to seeing in the full version?
A route for Viktor? Pleeeaaaase tell me he's the secret character - I want it sooo badly! Oh and also... a walkthrough. No, seriously, I consider myself pretty good at VNs, but I KNOW this one will be really hard, and it would be nice to have a walkthrough or at least some kind of hint guide about how to achieve certain things.
Oh, thank you so much for playing the game and commenting with your thoughts, even to the point of answering all the questions on lemmasoft. It's really helpful for me.
When the game's finished, I'll definitely whip up a hint guide or a walkthrough - depending on how difficult people find it. As for Viktor being the secret character or not...he may be! Feel free to keep aiming for him and find out, if you like. You can get courted by more than one bachelor, and if you want to break up with someone and go out with another guy, you can. (Though, the latter may be harder for some characters than others, given their standing and/or personality as a whole. Where you are in the story will make a huge difference, too.)
I'm happy you're enjoying the game. Please do continue to look forward to its full release!
I'll sure be looking forward to it!
In the meantime, I've played a couple more times, and I believe I've seen all of Viktor's scenes now. And I love him more and more - I really hope he's the secret character. But if he's not... well, I'm intrigued about what is the deal about him. He seems to have a crush on Ambrosia, and her friends won't stop talking about that too... I'm so curious haha!
Hi again Poison Apple Tales!
Once again THANK YOU for the great work! :'D
I have to say, I really like your style; dare I say it's a break through? I could feel how much work, tears, and blood you've put into this little one :'3
The way you execute the story is really interesting and immersed me into the story almost immediately -though I had to play it around 3 times to memorize the tribes x'D
The animation and sprites are gorgeous! They look alive and *sigh* what can I say, they're handsome, have individual presence, and unique personalities that it's hard to choose which one I want to pursue! ><
First of all, I have to say: Arsenik is damn HARD to get him into the healer's tent :')) I went back and forth just to get him to show me his 'wound', but LO AND BEHOLD, he escapes again!! ARGH -I have the feeling you'll tease me until the full version is out but ugh... you got me x'D
And I can't seem to get Victor's route? o.o I can get Chase & Arsenik to the point of Sir Onyx beheading the 2 commander, but not Victor?
Imugi clan and Sir Onyx also caught my interest -if there's a tradition in Cucuy's tribe of only family members could see their face, I swear... x'D
*Sigh* I think this is the first time I can't choose a favourite -I LOVE ALL OF THEM.
Also, did you program it yourself? O.O If yes, You have my adoration and admiration! Your animation and options are so great and many that I wondered how you deal with the bugs :'D I really feel your love! <3
Other than that, you've 'sold' the story really well and I'd really love to see weekly updates or maybe a prediction about when is the full version will go out? :3
Hello, SweetChiel! It's so great to hear from you again. I've already told you this on Facebook, but your review really made me happy. I'm glad you're enjoying it.
Ooh, well, I should mention that getting one of the guys (like Chase or Arsenik) to block the sight of the execution doesn't quite indicate whether you're on his "route." Beauty and the War (X Playing Pieces) is part-visual novel and part-fantasy simulation, so I was letting the characters do whatever they normally would have done. Based off his personality and schedule, Viktor simply wouldn't be there at the same time as you and Onyx. (Though, do keep in mind that even though the cast of X Playing Pieces is quite vast, some men simply won't be obtainable!)
Ah, and yes, I did program it myself. I get the feeling there's still a bug lurking around somewhere, but I'll have to test it thoroughly before release to squash them all!
I'm aiming for a 2017 release (keep your fingers crossed!). I post most of my updates on tumblr and sometimes lemmasoft. If you've already liked my facebook page, you should see updates here and there as well. (Probably more once the holidays are over!)
Thanks again for taking the time to comment with your thoughts! I'm thrilled you're enjoying it so far.
Oh, and if the clans are confusing at all, here's a small guide that might help. If you have any questions or any other feedback, feel free to let me know!
YOUR GAMES ARE SO GREAT! When is the full version coming out? :')
When is the full game going to be out?
Also, how did you create these games? IE; what software did you use?
It's just great! I am eagerly looking forward for the full game! I have some thoughts about the girl in the keyhole and how the story will continue and how the characters will end up. However I want to play to be sure!
Omg! I am super excited!!!
Hi, QueenElizabethJr! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. I'm actually rather curious about what your theories, if you care to share them!
Thanks for playing and taking the time to comment with your thoughts.
I loved it! I'm so excited for the full game skdmksand it's so full of mystery and im like oh gawd what is up with the keyhole shucks ;o
Playing the game feels like a big responsibility bcs Ambrosia ;-; and the characters /wiggles eyebrows/ what they all hidin' :3
Hello, 氷菓! Thanks for playing the game and taking the time to comment with your thoughts. I'm glad to hear you're excited for the full version! I already can't wait for everyone to find out what it is the characters are hiding.
If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to let me know.
I really enjoyed this demo! Not too long ago, I played your other game "Don't Take This Risk" and I also enjoyed that- your games are outstanding! I happened to be scrolling through the comments on the page of Don't Take This Risk, and noticed you had said that the character from it is in here. Would that happen to be one of the hidden characters, or do we meet him early on? (I can't quite tell without the blanket to recognize him by, haha!) Either way, this is a great game and I look forward to the full version!
Hi, Meowtha! Thanks for checking out both my games. I'm glad to hear you liked them!
Now, the main guy of Don't Take This Risk could be one of the hidden characters or you may have already been introduced to him. Not to worry - in the full version, you will definitely know which one is him. (But if I somehow wasn't as clear as I thought I was, just send me a message! I'll clear things up straightaway.)
If you have any other questions or feedback, feel free to let me know.
time for another live commentary! going for Wind first, (he's so goddamn adorable!!!)
HUH...it's a virus? welp, just gonna have to copy the folder and re-save it as a .rar file...
NOW ONTO THE GAME! ooh! warnings, let's see...flashy lights, not an epileptic, so that's good.. blood..-BLOOD! BLOOOOOD!! (dunno why but it made me giggle. maybe cause I watched zootopia the other day...hmm.)
TRIBAL MUSIC WOOOO! dododo! doodoo! doodoodoo doodoo doodoodoo! *bobs up and down like a dancing parrot* XD
PHOENIX CLAN!!! XD badass name.. me likey.
"when they first came to us they had only one request." *notices the animated fire* (*deep voice*)FIIIIRRRREE!!!! XD XD
good god, trold clan looks horrifying
"cucuy" ....ku-....ku-... kuh koo wee? cuck wee? cuck-a-wee? XD how dafuq do I say that?! *music changes for a few moments* what the hell?? is someone strangling a violin WTF?? XD XD
I....guess I have to CONQUER the....I DON'T HAVE A CLUE HOW TO SAY THAT NAME, SO IMMA JUST PRONOUNCE IT 'CACCOOEEY' (cause it's fun to say)
WOAH! is that the same barium from the valentine edition??
PFFFHAHAHAHA! awkward arm animations...CHECK. (please don't think I'm making fun of you, try making the shoulder animate a small amount with the arm when he goes into thinking pose, that should look more natural)
OOH! OPTIONS, uhhhh....is there a save? *tries right clicking. save screen pops up* WEEEEY!!!! YES! 'same me' ...XD cute. *click* ooh! save file descriptions! noice!!
how about...cucuy scout...Barium seems unsure. uh....did I do a bad? OH! loyalties and shiet...yeah, I see his point now.. more options....uh....I guess....hul-no, valkyrie, I think wind was hulder...don't wanna upset him. unless that introduces me to Wind...hmm.uh....I guess hulder?? *super nervous*
(after clicking 'i'm here') XD dafuq? is that....a ferret?? XD *looks closer* OH! NO, it's PART of a face looking through a keyhole! cool...*accidentally scrolls up a bit...log pops up* OOH! YEEEY! now I can re-read things this time! yay!
OOH! arsenik is a wolf??? ohh! huntsman disguised as a wolf... cool.
augh...don't tell me I got arsenik's route... (I don't like him too much for some odd reason,) OOH! PRETTY MOON!! OOH! THE SUN IS JUST AS PRETTY!
OOH! EXPLORATION CHOICES!! TO THE FOREST! ....can I have one of those sweet fruit trees?? (preferably with fruit that tastes like peach and mango X3) OH WOW! SUCH CHOICES! X3 *clicks excitedly* let's go to the forest...OH! THOSE POOR SILKWORMS!!! XD I'M SO SORRY! XD
GATHERED SPIDERS?!?! NOOOOPE!!!!!! #slightarachniphobia
EEEAAAATTT THEM?! ohhh god.... *shudder, gag*
OOOHHH! THE IMUGI! RIIGHT! THAT'S WHERE WIND IS! derp...
wait...'thunder?' I thought his name was wind...
WHA- SERIOUSLY?!?! THAT'S IT?!?! FRICKEN....and Wind JUST made an appearance....
Thanks for playing and live commenting again. You know I like hearing your thoughts as they come to you! Also, here's a little secret: Thunder and Wind are twin brothers. ;)
Anyway, I'll definitely fix up Barium's arm animation! Your feedback's sure to help me when I make the full version. Hope you're looking forward to it!
By the way, if you don't mind me asking, what do you think of horror/dark romance visual novels?
TWINS? coolness! cause I was liek, "thunder??? dafuq? THAT LOOKS LIE WIND! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!"
(my god...it's so hard to type with my puppy resting his head on my elbow...XD) to be perfectly honest, it might just be best to instead of a upward animation, try a fade-in animation, maybe a swing-in animation, (like, thin of how an arm would ACTUALLY MOVE, and animate it accordingly). no animation at all always works. if you really want the characters, try making them blink every so often, or make their shoulders move ever-so-slightly, to show breathing, that could look cool!
eeeeeehh.....I'm NOT a fan of angsty things that result in truck-loads of feels. if you can avoid that, PLEASE do.
Those are good ideas! Though...if you watch the characters, you'll actually notice their shoulders are already moving when they breathe and their eyes are blinking. But I'm glad to hear that's something you already like.
As for the angsty stuff, there are certain paths that will lead to that! But out of all the dialogue options, I think you might able to tell which one leads to darker things.
(Also, you have a puppy? Aww, I bet he's cute.)
i actually have 11 dogs (granted none are TECHNICALLY puppies, I still call them puppies)
and yes, he IS adorable! his name is Taco, and he's a caramel brown chihuahua
I'm VERY glad to hear I'll be able to avoid most, (is not all) angsty stuff!