Arabians Lost is Quinrose’s second game with a desert setting. The main character, Aileen Olazabal, is the only daughter and princess of Gilkhatar who wants nothing more than to lead a normal life and not be a princess. However, nearing her birthday, the King and Queen decided that she should marry, and that they had decided on a husband for her. Wanting to have a normal life (which includes having a normal romance, falling in love etc), Aileen refused. This lead to a wager between Aileen and her parents; if Aileen could raise 10,000,000G in 25 days, she’s free to do what she wanted. If she failed, then she’d have to do what her parents said.
Why such a weird wager…? Well… Gilkhatar isn’t a normal country. You can think of it as a country of criminals (since they certainly let things like assassins guild running around). Aileen herself hasn’t been raised like other princesses; where other princesses learn how to dance or to sing, Aileen learns how to pick locks and to fight (which is what we’re shown she was doing, at the beginning of the game). (And considering the sort of country Gilkhatar is, one wonders if Aileen’s interpretation of the word ‘normal’ is the same as the rest of us…)
The King then told Aileen that there were 6 guys she could ask as companions. As in, she could ask a guy to go and accompany her on her quest to raise money, but the guy isn’t allowed to help her. The basic idea is that he’s around to keep an eye on her and haul her ass home if she fainted while fighting monsters etc, but the guy himself isn’t allowed to assist her in fighting monsters.
The 6 main guys you can go after:
- Curtis Nile: The head of assassins’ guild with an everlasting smile on his face. A genius in his field who can be very, very scary even when he’s smiling… He grew up on the slums and always looks cheerful.
- Roberto Cromwell: The manager of a successful casino who’s also an addicted gambler (and also an excellent cheater at it and is never caught). He loves gambling, and gambles on chances (not just cards). However he’s also an excellent and ambitious businessman and this serves in making his casino prosperous.
- Shark Brandon: The head of the trader’s guild who’s said to be a genius and who’s said to always be able get whatever he wants. Although not many could even imagine it, he’s actually an excellent doctor as well. However he also has a bad taste, being an upstart…
- Stuart Sink: Heir to the north business district, a handsome but cold man. Related to Tyrone, although the relationship between the two is very bad. A calculating man who’s also a neat-freak. Childhood friend with Aileen and Tyrone.
- Tyrone Bale: Heir to the south business district, a man who is quick to anger. Related to Stuart, although the relationship between the two is very bad. A man who appears rude, even though he’s actually generous. Childhood friend with Aileen and Stuart.
- Lille Sluman: Aileen’s tutor. A strict person who can be gentle from time to time. He’s old friends with Robert. He has a lame leg, and the sword cane he uses is a present from Robert.
There are other paths and endings you can get with other side characters as well. One thing of note: Quinrose is known for making aggresive male characters. Unlike most otome games where the male characters are all sweet and nice (except in the 18+ otome games), male characters in Quinrose games have… a certain aggresiveness in them (even though the game isn’t 18+), which make most fangirls (myself included) squee with delight. And as you can see from the cast above, their male characters are always of the unusual stock… gone is the typical princely type (to be replaced with a homicidal assassin 8D ) One interesting thing of note is that none of the guy started out liking Aileen. A few even thought accompanying her was such a chore. So… it was interesting to see the change in his attitude towards Aileen in the span of 25 days.
The gameplay is as follows. You have 25 days, and each gets divided into 4: morning, afternoon, evening and night. Aileen can ask a guy to accompany her from morning till evening, after which both will automatically return back to town. From morning till evening, you have the option to buy/sell items, take on jobs from guilds, go to the money lender to borrow money (watch out for the interest), check your progress with your target character, have training session with Lille or go outside of the town and pick a location to fight monsters. At night you will have a different set of options. You can choose to either go to sleep, go to the pub or go to the casino alone or accompanied by a guy of your choosing. Everytime you ask a guy to accompany you his affection rating will increase. If you stick to the same guy every time, getting his affection above 100 is no problem.
Now, to get money… I found the easiest way to earn money is through the casino. At the beginning you will have barely anything to start with, and defeating monsters rarely give you money (except the ones in the most difficult area which you can’t access at the beginning anyway). However monsters will always drop items (rat monsters will drop “rat’s tail”, scorpion monsters will drop “pincers” etc) which you can sell for money. A better use, however, is to go to the guild. There are north and south guilds, and both offer different type of tasks. North guild will offer you money for bringing back a number of items, while the south guild will offer you money for doing a certain task (go to the deepest part in area B etc). I found north guild to be the easier one; if I have, say, X number of rat’s tail in my possession, I’ll just take on the job that says “bring back X amount of rat’s tail”. This way I can take the job and immediately get my reward. Beware that whenever you check for available jobs you will have to pay. A good way is to save before you check for available jobs and load when there’s no job which you can do.
Once you have enough money to play roulette at the casino, you should start gambling then. I think the minimum bet value is around 50,000…? Just save before placing your option and load whenever you lose. This is because you can only play once every day, and once you’ve played for the day you’ll automatically go home. You’ll start slow since you can’t bet much, but because everytime you win your money doubles, not long after you’ll start betting for 1,000,000 (the maximum betting value). When you win you get another 1,000,000, so getting to 10,000,000 should be pretty easy.
Also, it’s a good idea to stock up on healing potions (buy from the north guild). If your HP reaches 0 when you’re fighting monsters, the guy who’s accompanying you will send you home, and the day is basically gone.
For people with PS2, good news for you. This game has been ported to PS2, and I believe it has additional endings for some guys.
Verdict: A very addictive game to play, although not as addictive as Kiniro no Corda… gameplay is a nice diversion from the usual ADV, and the characters make this a very lively game (Curtis, marry me!!! *3* ) Also, according to Quinrose website, it has 250 event CGs. I think it’s a game you should play at least once just to get you to know what Quinrose’ games is like (although I haven’t played Heart no Kuni no Alice, so I’m not sure about that one…). Although Quinrose games seem to have vastly different systems from one to another, as Arabians Lost’s gameplay is vastly different from the previous game. And from what I’ve read on the net, Heart no Kuni no Alice is totally different too. So… dunno. Maybe get this if you like desert princesses and the fact that you can get an assassin to fall in love with you?