Unrelated, but lately the amount of spam I’ve been getting in the comments have multiplied… thank goodness WP’s spam filter is pretty good and reliable.
Anyways, here are the routes in the game, in the order I played them. No screenshot since the game has no screencap function, and the story… well, some of it will be made up (by me) since on PSP I can’t use AGTH and have to make do with whatever I could understand on my own. Also, I split the post into 2 since it’s just too long… (and because I haven’t finished the last route).
The basic outline of the game is the same for all the routes. In the final week, the teachers (Ivan-sensei & Vania-sensei) would tell Lulu that she had to pick a partner to undertake the exam which would decide whether or not her magic would be sealed. The exam itself, in turn, would be tailored to the partner she chose… in other words, it’s an exam where they would need each other to succeed. The premise of the exam is always the same; the teachers would hide a medallion (an artefact of the same element as the chosen partner), and told Lulu that she had to find a “questionable object” in 7 days to pass the exam (didn’t tell her it’s a medallion). While doing the exam, they’re free to do as they wished. They could go outside to the town (usually only allowed on weekends), break curfew, whatever.
The game would end with Lulu again taking the entrance exam to decide what element she’d be, except that this time she passed the exam and got to stay in the academy.
Went after Noel first because he seemed to be the clown of the game and his personality grated on my nerves in the prologue with his constant “Because I’m the man who’ll be the no. 1 wizard one day!” and “Because the magic of this genius me is perfect…” etc. He also had the hobby of buying items from the weirdo item shop, thinking he’d gotten himself an awesomely powerful/rare magical artefact only to discover that he’d bought a fake… which led to some humorous events.
Playing his route actually made me like him. At the start I thought he’s just a clownish, pompous braggart. But actually, he worked really hard. He studied hard, and spent a lot of time studying… so his claims had some grounds in it I guess. He’s really attached to his talisman (called “Insect Amber”), often saying how it’s the best talisman, etc.
During the exam, they weren’t making much progress in finding clues on what and where the “questionable object” was, and Lulu had the idea of asking a famous seer who happened to be staying in town. The seer gave a cryptic clue and predicted that if Noel continued using his talisman then it’d kill him. This made Noel upset that he disappeared for a day, and showed up the next day asking Lulu to hang on to his talisman. Basically, Noel reflected on what the seer said and knew that she was right. He had been over-reliant on his talisman that he depended on it too much, that it was his first resort for everything that his own magic/skill never developed. His talisman was also the reason for his over-confidence; consequently without it he felt weak and useless. In the long run, this would kill any potential he had as a wizard, hence the seer saying it’d kill him. After he’d found enough confidence in his own skill, Lulu gave him the talisman back.
The test itself… in the academy, there was a huge number of humanoid golems filling in servant duties (cleaners, gardeners, chefs etc). At the beginning of the exam, some of them started behaving strangely… not doing their duties, obstructing students instead of helping them etc. The pair figured out that the “questionable object” had probably been planted in one of the golems, giving it a will of its own (normal golems had minimal self-conciousness and almost no willpower of its own). Golems were created using its creator’s magic, so it’d follow the creator’s will or the general purpose that was given to it. But the “questionable object” presumably held enough magic in it to give the golem its own willpower, and the lone golem in turn influenced the others to rebel about their existence. Anyway, Lulu was rather sad about having to take the object from the golem because it’d then lose the self-consciousness, same as killing it. Noel found a way… at the same time as he took the medallion away from the golem, he gave the golem some of his own magic, giving it a continued existence. …but the golem then took on Noel’s appearance and developed a fondness for him, with hilarious result.
Anyway, the ending had Lulu somewhat cornering Noel into confessing to her, which was admirable of her *lol*. He’d been reluctant to confess since he wasn’t sure she’d accept him, since he’s actually not as great or as awesome as he had always claimed to be and now she also knew. It’s cute how Noel liked Lulu because she accepted him as he was.
Best Event: On one of the dates, Noel asked Lulu to help him out… he told her that he’s acquired a rare artefact, a pair of wands. Problem was, it could only be used when being used by 2 people together, so he asked her to take one of the wand and try out the artefact together. I LMAO-ed when they tried out the artefact by doing those magical heroine sequence thingie… the pose, the slogan, and even the sparkly background. Turned out this one was a fake too, so… (but Noel was rather happy that their minds had been in sync, since they did the whole sequence without a flaw or anything).
Go DIAF, Alvaro.
Anyways. Throughout his route, Alvaro’s the one who kept on saying playful and flirtatious lines and making Lulu confused as to whether he actually meant it. There was also an event where one of the school’s gargoyle, which was supposed to protect students, attacked Alvaro for no reason but he easily killed the gargoyle.
Anyway, during the exam they quickly figured out that the medallion’s hidden at the statue of the academy’s founder, and that Lulu was the only one who could approach the statue owing to her magic having no element. So Alvaro told her to grab the medallion while he would cover her back. As Lulu moved to take the medallion, the academy’s gargoyles started attacking the pair, but Alvaro’s barrier protected Lulu. The moment Lulu grabbed the medallion, she turned back to see a completely different person… or someone who looked totally different, but was still Alvaro, killing off the oncoming gargoyles and looking like he’s really enjoying it.
Alvaro took the medallion from the shocked Lulu, and told her that this was who he really was. Everything she had seen of him had been a fake front. There’s something about him being from an underground/crime/assassin/something organisation, and that he had been sent to the academy because, well, even assassins had to learn their magic from somewhere first. With that Alvaro disappeared, and Lulu collapsed from shock.
While still in shock, Alvaro sent Lulu a letter telling her to meet him in the town at night, so she did. There he proposed a game to her; if she wanted the medallion back, she had to steal it from him. And to make the ‘game’ more interesting, he cast a spell on her; if she failed to steal the medallion in the next few days, she’d die. As part of the game, Alvaro returned to school, and basically acted as if nothing had happened and everything’s as per normal (contrasting with Lulu’s shocked/depressed/scared demeanor).
Recovering from shock, Lulu decided to do something drastic. On the last day of the game, she asked to meet Alvaro somewhere quiet. Alvaro came, looking forward to what sort of ‘game’ Lulu would play since her time was running out. Then she started chanting a spell which would basically amount to suicide, and angrily Alvaro tried to stop her. It was a ploy to get him close enough to her, and Lulu chanted a different spell, one which bound their souls together so that if she died, he’d die as well. With this he’s pretty much lost the ‘game’ since he had to undo his spell on her.
The ending had Lulu kissing Alvaro, and telling him to figure it out on his own when he asked what it meant. In this ending, Lulu’s also a bit doS, but I guess that’s necessary to survive Alvaro… I can’t say I like Alvaro. He did the things he did not because he liked Lulu, but just because he found the whole thing amusing/entertaining. Even in the Album CG commentary, regarding the event when Lulu turned the table on him, he mentioned that he felt ‘betrayed’ when she started her suicide spell… because it’d mean that she’s not playing the game (on account of, you know, being dead) and that he had really looked forward to seeing what sort of ‘game’ she’d play, and her dying was like running away from the game.
I have questions as well. Can anyone tell me why the teachers didn’t do anything to help Lulu when Alvaro betrayed her? From what I understood the medallions were actually important artefacts related to the academy, and I thought to have one of it in the hands of someone like Alvaro would spell danger… also, the teachers were aware from the start who/what Alvaro was, why would they just let someone like that run around in the academy?
Best Event: …can’t say I particularly liked any event… but if I have to choose, it’d be the one where Lulu turned the table on him. Because after everything else that happened, that event made me feel like “take that, you traitor!”. …so, yeah.
Est kept a very, very wide emotional distance that the relationship’s development was rather weird. It was mostly Lulu approaching him and Est wondering why she kept on doing so when everyone else avoided him. One of the events had Lulu seeing Est using his magic… but briefly it looked like there were markings on his skin, and somewhat-invincible chain coiled around him. The markings reminded me of Hito-Shura…
For the exam, Est figured out that the item would be hidden in some sort of an alternate dimension of darkness, and prepared a spell to enter that dimension. He made a different magic circle around Lulu, and told her not to step out of it for any reason. When his spell activated and the portal to the other dimension opened, it sucked everything in including Est, although Lulu was safe thanks to the magic circle around her. Lulu fainted, and upon waking up remembered that Est’s last expression had been a smile… and realised that he had planned for it to happen. Lulu decided that she needed to save Est, so she tried to replicate the spell Est had used and managed to enter the other dimension as well.
There was no one in the dimension, and when Lulu was beginning to feel scared Est found her and chided her for following him in. Seemed like his plan had been to find the medallion, and send it back to Lulu… while he’d stay in the dimension. It’s not like there’s no way back, he just didn’t feel there’s any point in coming back. Apparently there was this race of magic users who had been able to use magic since before humans could, and they’re not really happy when humans started using magic. So they created Est… to prove a point or something, not sure. Est has been able to use magic since before he could remember, and he’s powerful. Powerful enough to create an adult-sized golem out of nothing without blinking an eyelid, while it took Noel all his power to create a golem barely 10cm tall out of wood sticks. I think they also sent Est to the academy to prove a point to Ivan and Vania (considered influential magic users among humans or something), not sure… he’s really powerful that whereas for everyone else their talisman served to enhance/amplify their magic, Est’s talisman served to limit/control his magic. And since the dimension was made out of darkness magic which was his element, for him it’s like fish to the water… when Lulu was tired he created a bedroom for her to sleep in. Again, out of nothing…
To Est, life had no purpose. He’s just a “product”, so even if he graduated from the academy he’d have to return to his creators, so staying in the alternate dimension made no difference to him. …at least he’s not being emo about this whole thing, just indifferent. Lulu argued that he’d be alone and that she’d stay with him, but he replied that her place was with everyone else, not with him. Lulu managed to find the medallion, and Est started executing the spell to send her back… but in the middle of the process Lulu latched herself onto Est, refusing to let go so that they’d both return to the original dimension. When asked why she’s doing this, why she’s not respecting his wish, she replied that it’s because she liked him.
The ending had Lulu forcing Est to admit that he liked her by hugging him and refusing to let go until he said it *lol* …it felt strange though. Because up until the last moment he’s very nihilistic about his situation, then just suddenly at the ending he’s more optimistic… and throughout the route he kept a distance from Lulu, and suddenly at the ending that distance’ gone…? Felt like there were events missing between the final event and the ending Also the story felt rather unresolved… there’s still the issue of Est having to return to his creators, and the ending basically said they’d think about it when it happened.
Best Event: Rather melancholic, but on one of the dates Est invited Lulu to the lake because he had something to talk about. Somehow the talk turned sour and Est left Lulu alone, wondering why it was that things often turned out like this, why she could never seem to approach Est and she started crying. When she realised, Est was sitting next to her, although he insisted that he didn’t come back to check up on her or anything… but he stayed until she’s calmed down and stopped crying.
…I also like the event that accompanied his bonus CG in the album… Est’s really cute when he’s being a shy tsun ❤
Note first. On the academy grounds there’s a statue of the school’s founder, Fata-morgana-sama, the man whose efforts made it possible for humans to learn and use magic. In the prologue, Noel was trying to prove the rumour that people destined for greatness would be able to hear Fata-morgana’s voice, convinced that if anyone could hear it it would be him. He couldn’t hear anything, but after he left Lulu found that she could actually hear Fata-morgana’s voice (being naive, she didn’t think much of it).
In this route, on the final week Lulu couldn’t decide on a partner so she asked the teachers if she could undertake the exam alone. The teachers disagreed and told her to find a partner. Lulu was confused and confided in Fata-morgana, who told her that there’s a way. He opened a special path leading underground (to what I guess was his final resting place). Fata-morgana never really died, I think he sort of merged his power and consciousness with the academy grounds… in that place he gave her all 6 medallions, which in turn enabled her to be a witch who could control/use all 6 elements. The teachers decided that she could stay as a student (…it’s not like they could really dispute the words of the academy’s founder…), her magic didn’t get sealed, and she continued to enjoy her daily life among her friends.
Amy came from a famous family of seers who could hear the voices of stars. Unfortunately for her, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t hear anything. This resulted badly for her confidence and sense of self-worth, and most of the events were about how looking at Lulu inspired her, and Amy decided that she’d try harder instead of just giving up (like what she had been doing before meeting Lulu).
Similar to the Everyone route, Lulu couldn’t choose a partner. Except this time Amy offered to be her partner, only if there’s absolutely no one else willing to be Lulu’s partner. Thinking that the only person she wanted to be her partner was Amy but that Amy had seemed really reluctant, Lulu decided she didn’t want to trouble someone else like that and begged the teachers to let her undertake the exam alone (which they did, after lots of begging on Lulu’s part).
Hearing this, Amy told Lulu that she’d help, and that maybe this time she’d hear the star’s voices now that she’d found a ‘reason’ to do so. But the moment Amy tried to do so using the crystal ball given by her grandmother, the crystal ball shattered and Amy fainted. Thinking how sad Amy would be when she woke up and realised what had happened to the crystal ball, Lulu ran around trying to find a new talisman for Amy. In the end she decided to ask the famous seer in the town where she could find a new talisman, and the seer ended up giving Amy a new talisman, a bell. The new talisman worked, but Lulu’d lost a lot of time to do her own exam. In the end she couldn’t pass the exam, but Amy went with her to the teachers’ office to explain what happened, that Lulu lost a lot of time because she was trying to help Amy, and for the first time the meek Amy firmly asked the teachers to consider this and give Lulu a second chance.
They did give Lulu a second chance, Amy said that this time she’d happily be Lulu’s partner. The ending had Lulu teaching Amy to climb a tree so she could be closer to the sky and hear the stars.
Playing Julius’ route, I was actually worried that it’d become a normal highschool romance otome game since this guy had his own fanclub and all, and I was expecting the normal scenario of bullying by the fangirls etc. To my relief none of it ever happened, and the fangirls simply never showed up in any of the events. …it also robbed me of a certain satisfaction, since in some normal events the fangirls had been quite annoying that I wanted to stick it in their face that I snagged the guy they’re worshipping. Found it rather strange too… if those fangirls didn’t even show up in the route where I thought they’d be, then what purpose/plot point do they serve…?
Julius didn’t really have any emotional issue… he’s just a magic nerd/geek/otaku. Once he started talking about magic, it’s difficult to shut him up. He’s really passionate about magic that his mind often wandered off mid-conversation to think about “maybe if there’s a magic for it…”. …he also often forgot to sleep or eat, once he started doing his study/research into magic. One of his dreams was to create a new magic.
For the exam, the teachers apparently used the medallion to tamper with the seal of a cockatrice sealed ages ago, so that students at the academy started finding strange things like a stone cat or stone dog, albeit ones that looked really realistic. …at this point I had to wonder if these teachers were sadistic enough to endanger their students in the name of exam… anyways… The pair realised that it’s probably because the cockatrice had been coming back to life during night time and petrifying small animals that encountered it, and devised a plan. They waited around the spot where the cockatrice had been sealed until nightfall, when the cockatrice came back to life… While Lulu put up a barrier and distracted the cockatrice, Julius was tasked with taking the medallion from it. He did it, but he still didn’t move away from the cockatrice, intending to take something else as well (I think a feather or a horn, not sure) since this was his last chance to acquire it; there’s no more cockatrice out in the wild, and he thought if he could get something then maybe he could use it to create a new spell.
The barrier broken down though, and the cockatrice attacked Julius who was so absorbed in what he was doing that he didn’t realise. Lulu jumped in to save him, and lost consciousness… thankfully, the cockatrice then ran away because it was still weak after all the years trapped in a seal. Lulu regained consciousness to find that she couldn’t move. The teachers told her that since the cockatrice wasn’t at its full power, its glare didn’t petrify her instantly. But the petrification process had started from her legs, and once it reached her heart she’d die. At night Julius came to visit while she’s sleeping, crying in remorse and telling her that he’d definitely find a way to save her.
The next day Lulu begged Vania-sensei to cast a spell to enable her to move, just enough to give her enough mobility so she could accompany Julius since she’s worried about him. The cockatrice had been hiding in a cave since then, and they’d need to lure it out. Since the cockatrice is a magical beast with earth element, Julius thought they’d need an object with a strong earth magic to lure it out, since the cockatrice would want to restore itself to full power.
Julius: I’m going to do something bad, but you’ll have to forgive me because it’s necessary.
Lulu: Umm… okay?
Later, in front of the cave… Julius set up the necessary magic circle and all, and took out an item from his bag…
Lulu: …Julius… that’s… D8
Julius: Noel’s “Insect Amber” 😀
Lulu: I know, but, but, why… D:
Julius: We need an item with a strong earth magic in it, and Alvaro pointed out that Noel’s talisman surely would have strong earth magic. So I just ‘borrowed’ it for a while 😀
Lulu: (…Alvaro… I doubt you did it because you wanted to help… -__- )
Anyways, utilising the power from the medallion Julius managed to re-seal the cockatrice and Lulu’s back to normal.
Best Event: Definitely the ending, where Julius confessed to Lulu. It managed to be cute, amusing, romantic and dorky at the same time *lol*
Very similar to Amy’s route, in terms of story structure. Elphart-sensei’s also a character lacking in self-confidence, a carryover from his student days when he had no friend and his outlet was to tell the flowers in the garden all of his worries and insecurities. His saving grace was that he deeply cared for his students, but too often blamed himself for his students’ shortcomings.
In his route, while doing the exam, a random student was looking for a box he lost, and Lulu offered to help. Lulu found the box and accidentally opened it… and released a poisonous fog from within the box. Fortunately before it killed her Elphart-sensei saved her and managed to contain the poison temporarily. Lulu lost consciousness for a few days, and woke up feeling guilty. The poisonous fog could had spread and claimed lives, and it was only because Elphart-sensei happened to be there that it didn’t. When Elphart-sensei went to permanently neutralise the poisonous fog, Lulu insisted on coming with him since she was worried about him and wanted to stay by his side and confessing to him, regretting that she had not been born earlier so that she could had attended the academy and be students together with him.
Same result with the exam like Amy’s route, Lulu failed the exam but Elphart-sensei stood up for her and she was given a second chance. The ending pretty much had them doing the whole “secretly dating” and trying to keep it a secret from everyone else etc.
…I admit playing this route was rather disturbing, personally. Because throughout the game it was the teacher who’s reluctant and shy and awkward and insisting that they’re teacher-student, and it was the student who’s insisting that it didn’t matter. …considering how much of a weakling the teacher was and how shy and awkward he was… it made me feel like a (younger) predator (<_<;; )
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That’s all the routes I have for now. The next post should contain the rest…
Anyways, here’s wishing everyone an awesome Christmas o/