Take on the role of a human girl in a supernatural city, an immortal demoness with a mission (and possibly a vendetta), and an undead fellow who wouldn’t mind having his life back, thank you very much.
This review will go a bit deeper into the game in regards to story, its connection to Asher, and the various branching endings. To read my initial thoughts about the game, check out my first review talking about the demo.
★ ☆ ✰ Rating: 9/10
It took me awhile, but I completed both Asher and Tell A Demon and was really impressed with the story and art quality of both visual novels. Now, you might be asking why I am talking about two novels and I am doing so because while it might not be necessary, Asher provided a lot of background information to certain characters that are prominent within TAD. Aside from that, both these novels have beautiful art and articulate their 1920′s setting well, however TAD has a notable improvement with beautiful coloring (since Asher is done in black and white) and all the characters plus the backgrounds are detailed in what they are trying to portray in both the character expressions and the animation to show off what is going on in the story. Both visual novels also have wonderful music that show of the mysterious side of the story. Yet, the story really shines on its own.
In terms of Asher, it tells the story of the library assistant Tetrine Reisch and how she deals with demons and strange powers entering her life. In this story, the player is shown how both Aya and Julius become demons. The player also gets to a beginner’s understanding of what Markiuas is and just how exactly he pulls all the string in the back, as well as the complex relationship he has with Kalevel.
Tell A Demon takes off from that point and introduces Tell, a young woman coming into the city for a job interview and meets a mysterious man and someone from her past. At the same time, Kalevel seems to be creating her own problems due to her indifference, but also due to ignoring Markiuas and his scheming ways. Julius, also makes a comeback as he is trying to figure out exactly what happened to him and resisting the “hunger” that comes around due to his demon side. From that point, the choices made by the player dictates what will happen to these 3 people and if they will come out alive out of Markiaus’ scheming.
There is a total of 20+ endings to this game with several variations, which makes the player decisions very important and it takes into consideration what is going on collectively within the world, though there is a canon route to follow that will unlock the Epilogue and introduces the next game. As stated before, there is a lot of world building, both in the past and present as the player gets to see the current state of Asher and how the Empress’s court worked while foreshadowing its ending. However, all this information might be too much for some, as it took me a couple of playthroughs to exactly understand what was going on. However, while there is a lot going on and several stories being told that most important is hidden in the shadows — why is Markiaus doing all this?
That answer isn’t clearly given and for the moment it is up to the player to speculate why. There is an air of tension between almost all the characters and Markiaus, even when they are simply talking about him — he is a trickster, but he is also a very dangerous being. Kalevel is shown to be the most hostile towards him and seeing their background story it it understandable in many ways as the player comes to see it throughout the story. He moves a lot of the things in both Asher and Tell A Demon, so it will be intersting to see how that develops in future games though it was a little frustrating to see within the game.
Tell A Demon has a diverse and complex cast, along with a rich world that still has many secrets to have its players think about. It might be a little confusing at first, but it does get better. If you like mystery and gods playing with mortals, consider checking out Tell A Demon. However, I could consider playing through Asher first.