A regretful past, a confusing present, and an unclear future. After shutting the door to a life many would envy, the protagonist of the story, Sophie, returns to her one and only hometown. The town is just as she remembers it. She, however, is not. She can’t help seeing herself as empty―as empty as the barren trees around her. One calling abandoned, with no clear path ahead: what is her true purpose in life, now that time has faded the malicious spell of vanity? Furthermore, how will she deal with crippling regret and guilt she carries?
When the wonderful symphonies of winter season sound over the city – as they do every year – will the powers of supposed miracle “fate” steer her life in a predetermined manner?
This game reached my radar some time ago, but it took me awhile to play the demo. The first thing that caught my attention was the art, which was just beautiful! Sophie’s design has an aura of melancholy and does well in letting her current state be shown through her expressions, which are few and far between. She is a beautiful woman that grabs the attention of everyone, but she seems to struggle with something that has haunted her for a long time. The background art is extremely detailed and shows off the wintry air extremely well, and the transitions add a little extra. The music also does a good job in setting up the scenes, while the GUI seems a little simple it does get the point across of the landscape and what might be hiding beyond it.
Sophie starts off the story on a train and meeting a old classmate, Charles, who is moving back to their old hometown to study. Sophie’s own reasons for living there again are unknown and she seems unwilling to talk about them. As the story moves forward, Sophie is shown to be doing the minimum in order to keep moving forward. She goes out, but she has no connections besides going to a little cafe every so often. She doesn’t know what to do with herself anymore and doesn’t really want to connect with anything she has left in the past, it’s as if most of her years are a blur. At the same time, Charles gets kicked out of his uncle’s home, but ends up living with Sophie through a coincidence. He seems to be interested in what has happened to her over the past couple of years, but she doesn’t seem willing to open up anytime soon.
For one, this story is full of mystery because the player might think there is one thing that is troubling Sophie, but it is a pill of things that she seems to have be ignoring for years. She is a woman that seems to be filled with regrets and secrets, while unwilling to talk about it. It will be interesting to see how this might change as she is forced to connect and live with Charles. I really don’t know what to think about Charles just yet because while he seems just as mysterious as Sophie, he might be the force that moves the unmovable object that is Sophie’s current life. However, with Sophie as the central character, I just hope to see her process but that it comes organically and that it is through her own choices and not because of “falling in love” with Charles, or something similar to that. It is good to see such a complex female character full of mysteries and I hope to learn more about her when the full game comes out.
If you’re into complex characters and personal mysteries, consider checking this game out.