Thursday, April 21, 2011

[Frozen Essence] Review

Art: VenusEclipse
     Frozen Essence was my second visual novel... or rather otome game I've ever played. And it's also the game that inspired me to make my own, so basically, this game is a very important game to me. :D I know I gave a... fail review that made no sense last time but this is the real deal... not too mention long overdue but whatever. You can download it at Unbroken Hours. From here on, there might be spoilers so unless you want spoilers, then read no more. You play as a girl named Mina (default name) who got released from a long sleep in an ice prison. Mina lost her memories and when she wakes up, she meets an oracle who then kind of explains who she is (?) and lets her roam around free in her "world" that she woke up in. She then meets her bodyguards while exploring the world that apparently she created before her slumber. Then, there's this mass info dump from the oracle about some death thing that's like killing the world so that Mina was forced to create her own since she had the death... uh... I forgot what it was lol Sorry, been a while since I played that game ^^;; And she needs life essence to live on... guess it's her type of food lol Also, it was the bodyguard's job to get her life essence and such. Everyone warns her not to leave the "world" because people are after her and hunting her down... yet in the end, she ignored everyone and still went outside (´ω`;;) She goes outside, is saved by a red haired guy named Varian, and he lets her stay in a room he rented I think. Then it turns out that he was part of the "White Order"... AKA the people who are after her. So then, the white order kidnaps Mina and her bodyguards (some boydguards lol) and turns them into sacrifices for sealing Mina AGAIN. Then this little boy comes outta nowhere in Mina's head and tells her to save someone, but can only save one person. Then depending on what route you're in (the person you picked), the adventures that Mina has changes accordingly.

Caius - The first guy that I went after because he was the first guy that I saw that was better looking than the others. Oh, shallow me... (=ω=;) Anyways, he's one of the 3 bodyguards that the oracle assigned Mina, and then last one Mina met. Also an assassin from this famously strong clan that got wiped out sometime ago, and he was the only survivor. Has a bad and impulsive personality and only seems to like killing people. Their first encounter was... Caius throwing a rock on Mina's head lol. That was probably the moment I was like yeah, this is my kinda dude. (Somehow, I got this thing for evil, heartless people) So, Mina saves Caius in the cave and she wakes up in the middle of nowhere. Well, to be specific, a cabin in a forest. Turns out Caius spent some time of his life there so he was all familiar with it, and thought the forest was a perfect place to hide from the White Order. Then Mina basically spends her days being Caius's servant (cooking for him, and getting stuff for him) because he turned all sadist on her ( ̄□ ̄) Then Mina stumbles on poison field, when she didn't even know it and almost died... until Caius came and gave her a kiss (*´д`*) Giving her the antidote of course. Disappointed me, but nevertheless, it was a kiss~ \^O^/ Then Mina finds out he, being the assassin he was, put the poison on all his weapons, and sprayed it around the cabin or something so whoever even comes near dies. Around that time, you also can go into this lake place or whatever it was, then she meets this girl, later found out her name was Cascade. Mina was like "Who is this beautiful lady..." and me being "...And what the hell is she doing here -_-lll" after meeting the lady. Okay... I thought that lady was a cursed ghost or something from the lake which freaked me out a little... but thank god I never saw her again for a while after that. If you make the right decisions, Mina ends up cooking fish for Caius everyday because he likes it. Eh. Because he likes it, Mina cooks it everyday? (´ω`) Um, okay. lol... And so, I guess their relationship gets better with the help of Mr. Fishies :D Since it was a cabin... there was only one bed and one day Mina wakes up finding Caius beside her. She was all "OMG" and asks him if he knows what it means for a guy and a girl to be on the same bed together and he's like "I don't know. They're tired?"
Man... that cracked me up so much (^▽^) All of a sudden, one day, the higher ups of White Order I think finally stops sitting on their lazy asses and decided to find out where the hell all the people they sent went. They attack and... guess what? Mina finds out that the "pretty lady" she saw earlier, Cascade, was fighting with White Order. In fact, she was a famous knight of something. Now, the story splits into 2 endings. First ending is where Caius goes all crazy and uses you as his killing machine because of all your great powers. You end up killing all the White Order on that island and basically the ending sentence for this route is where Caius tells you "We're going to conquer the world together, MUAHAHA." lol. (゜д゜;) Uhm, okay, on to next ending. The second ending was longer. I think Cascade tries to deal the finishing blow on Caius and then Mina runs in the middle and Cascade stabs Mina instead. Caius then turns from sadist to this depressing dude and starts saying how important you are to him and hopes that you didn't die. Yeah... good job dude. Tell the girl after she's been struck. (=∀=;;) Then for years, Mina never wakes up. Until one day, she does and Caius turns into a super crybaby, and does his confessions. After that, Mina and Caius live happily ever after... in their poison flower field. lol. I liked Caius's path overall, really nice. :)

Rune - Kk, next up is Rune~ Also one of Mina's bodyguards. Man, he's so serious about his bodyguard job. And from day one, lots of hints were given about him and Aysel's (the last bodyguard's) relationship with eachother. First time I saw him, thought he'd be the player kind but then disappointed me because instead, he was a teacher's pet XD Anyways, back to serious business, he's a follow-the-rules kind of guy. Ah, I can't remember the specific order of his route so I'll just start from where I could remember. He was caught by White Order and kept in some kind of tower (rapunzel anyone?) Mina decides to save him. (Main characters with guts FTW( \^O^/) So she, and the oracle goes on a quest to save him. Oracle thinks up of a plan, and Mina just follows it. She sees him and gets scared because she doesn't recognize him since he's gone all emotionless, apparently. Guards find out, she and Rune escape, regardless of his will to stay. Okay, like wtf dude. This girl's giving her all to save you and you want to stay in that cell? Ummm okay, if I was in that game I probably would've been like: Well, suit yourself. Rot away here, buh bye. lol Anyways, they escape and Rune confesses about his "powers". So he's like "life" while Mina is "death" (opposites attract? XD) And he can heal all his wounds, meaning he basically can't die. He then info dumps on Mina on the love of his life back then. Yes, I say back then because if it weren't for his "life" powers thingmagigy, he's just an old man... well, maybe beyond an old man, in this case. ( ̄□ ̄) Okay, will not comment because at least he looks young LOL. Then he tells Mina that Aysel is the descendant of the girl he likes so he has to look after Aysel. Unfortunately, what he did not expect was for Aysel to like him in a more-than-friends-way. Damn, I felt kinda bad for Aysel at that moment. Liking an old man without knowing it, on top of that, he liked her ancestor? Not a pretty scene if Aysel found out lol. Well, she didn't. (Boo~! I wanted drama!!! 8D) Then he says that he doesn't want to love someone anymore or something 'cuz they'll die and he won't. Well, lookie here, you got Mina who will probably never die :D
After the touchy moments, Rune and Mina decide to go back to White Order to... um, if I remember correctly, it was to stop his "curse" or something along those lines. Anyways, they go back and Caius sided with White Order (wtf?) and Rune and Mina beats him up like no tomorrow. My heart was breaking as I read through this because I liked Caius a lot ;_; Then you get 2 options: to let Caius live, or to deal the finishing blow. Hmph, obviously I let him live. But I guess that was the moment the game direction changes because then Caius went to tattle tail to the higher ups about Mina and Rune and because of him the White Order surrounded them. What an ass! At that moment, I really regretted not finishing him off. ( ̄□ ̄)= 3 As much as I liked him, that just pissed me off. I friggin' spared his life and this is how he repays me? <.< The Orion dude, at least I think that's his name, starts torturing Rune once he caught him because Rune's powers lets him regenerate forever. Mina was just there telling Orion to stop, I guess. I don't know. Honestly, this part was pretty much clicking through the story on my part because it had the least amount of interaction so far. Mina was just... there and Orion and Rune's sob story of their past was unraveling. Turns out Orion wanted immortality and was one of the few people who had it. Um, and then basically Rune proposes some risky plan with you and you can choose to accept. Of course, I accepted and then Orion was defeated and Rune died... or something, because he absorbed Mina's death thing. Ah, I don't even know. (;A;) To be honest, Rune's route was such a massive info dump compared to Caius I didn't even bother reading through it word for word. (._.) Therefore, Mina is released from her powers, no one is chasing her and her hair color changed from whitish to redish brownish and she finally led a normal human life. I guess this was the gift Rune gave to her. After Rune's route with the random history stuff and the fact that he's actually a super old man at heart... um, I don't know. I just wasn't into his seriousness.

Varian - The moment I met this dude, I knew I'd be going after him soon. In fact, while playing Caius's route, I was half ass going after Varian too. I think this  is partly 'cuz of my obsession with red hair guys... apparently (^▽^) So Varian is the guy who found Mina when she left her "universe" and provided a place for her to stay, but it turned out that he was with the White Order and betrayed Mina in the end by handing her over to them. :D Well, before the betrayal happened, if you're nice enough to him, he will start saying stuff like "Why...Why do you keep on doing stuff like this?" (As in... nice stuff) Um, because I feel like it? I give him a C for disguise and pokerface. It was pretty obvious that something not-so-good would happen if you stick with him, but I did anything because what the heck, if I'm pursuing him, I better do it good! After all this inner conflict, he finally gave up Mina for the White Order. Shame on Varian... I was really so disappointed. (´ω`) I mean, really? Anyways, the White Order tried to use him as sacrifice to seal Mina... heck they used everyone you met as sacrifices. Mina uses her awesome powers to save Varian, and he brings her to this desert where I think he grew up in. Then he acts all cold towards her and avoids her at all costs... poor Mina. ;_; So he goes to work all day and you get to chose what you want to do, like cooking, cleaning, going outside, whatever. Varian never lets Mina go outside so when he offered one day, the go outside and they pass this shop selling all sorts of stuff. Varian asks Mina if she wants anything and then you get to pick between... what, like, 10 items? (=∀=;;) I was going to cry... or at least hyperventilate. I was like what the eff?! -SAVE- Too many choices!!!! D: 
Okay, whatever you pick, it doesn't have any immediate effects since either way, he brings you to a dungeon, and locks you in a cell. Why? Because he wanted to get his honor in White Order or whatever shit he lost when you saved him. Dude, seriously? Those people friggin' betrayed you, and yet you still...?! -_- I don't even... oh, whatever. He contacted them so they can capture you and this is where good ending and bad ending splits. Let's talk about the bad ending first... White Order comes, seals you in an iceberg, and he visits you like everyday to apologize. GTFO bastard. Like really, just don't even try. The good ending was better than the bad one at least. White Order comes, he realizes that what he was doing was wrong and that he couldn't stand seeing Mina captured so then he fights while yelling for Mina to escape. She escapes, but she doesn't know if he did or not. Well, honestly, I liked this side of Mina. At least, she didn't hesitate TOO much and in the end, they both die. <.<;; I've seen too much stupid things like that to even... anyways, that part, I was glad for. :D Some time later, Varian comes back okay (Yippee!) and he decides that he wants to travel with Mina and try to find out a way to release her from the death thing she has. Then there's this CG of them years later together... that CG I liked. <3 But yeah, I can say I was disappointed in Varian's route. It... was worse than I expected, but nevertheless, I do respect how he is so loyal even when betrayed so many times. Though there IS such a thing as TOO much loyalty...

Aerulius - He's a knight kind of guy who is famous and respected and a player. I usually like players a lot, but unfortunately... well, let's just say his looks couldn't match with his actions. :/ Although... it did get WAY better later on in the game. But that's not the main reason I disliked him. It's probably because he was too... formal and cheesy. I mean, I just couldn't take his sweet talk. Probably because I'm naturally a person who can't talk too much mushiness at a time, but you know, he was also too girly and formal for my tastes. Therefore, I went after him last. He also had this arrogant know-it-all attitude about everything and tries to "save" people's "dark" souls. Also add that to the list of what I hate. Okay, enough of that. What I actually liked about him, was his intuition and his belief in it. Though I hate how in this route Aysel, your third bodyguard, is like stuck like glue with you all along. I confess, I read the walkthrough while playing this so I knew I had to be nice to her but wtf. If you wanna get his dang CGs, Aysel's gonna get mad. -_- Suck it up, lady. I thought you liked Rune!!! D: In his route though, it's you who gets saved by Aerulius, not the other way around... which is quite a change of pace in this game. He's all like: "How dare you trap ladies in here, Imma get you all out, don't worry!" ... And left everyone else. lool Then Mina, Aysel, and Aerulius travel in his carriage back to his homeland and Aysel starts getting all depressed on how she can't bring you life essence anymore because the last of her powers, which by the way were given by Rune, is almost gone. It really wasn't anything to be depressed over. Then Mina asks Aysel to teach her how to extract life essence from plants and stuff instead of people, and they arrive in Aerulius's hometown. 
Turns out he's got something to do with Cascade from Caius's route... since she's a knight at his hometown. From my point of view, it seemed like he was hitting on her while she kept on rejecting him because of something that happened in the past between them. It was revealed later on... something about how Aerulius didn't trust his intuition and something bad happened. Meh, I didn't really care that much about it. The fact that I don't even remember it just proves that it probably wasn't even that relevant. Though, on second thought, I just practically skimmed through Aerulius's route since I wasn't such a huge fan of him. For the same reason, I only played his good route. I mean, I actually didn't even want to know what the bad route was about. Probably Mina gets betrayed or handed over to White Order, since in this guy's route, White Order also came. In the good route, he questioned Mina at first but in the end, defended her, and kept on stalling White Order until they couldn't be stalled any further and fought Aerulius while kidnapping Mina. At that same time, Cascade came to help saying how he might've made the right decision this time. Lady, my nonexistent love for you just became existent. ^O^ So even though he Aerulius was wounded badly, he still came to save Mina. Then he promise White Order that if they leave Mina in his hands everyone will be AA Okay, or... something like that. lol... So in the end, Mina leaves her life forever trapped in a tower getting jealous over how Aerulius hits on all girls. He visits her everyday to reassure her that she's the only one he truly loves. Um sureeeee dude. Just keep on saying that. <.<

Zareh - Since he's a locked chara, I never even knew he existed until my friend who played this kept on spazzing how awesome and sweet he is. My first reaction was what? Another obtainable guy?   (´ω`;;) Because by now, after Frozen Essence marathons, I don't think I could've continued LOL (Homework + Life caught on) Anyways, I did anyways, and I'm pretty thankful I played him last... because he was like the last piece of Mina's identity mystery. The other characters all focused on who she is... with the death thing and whatever, but Orion's route was pretty much Zareh retelling how Mina was BEFORE, as a normal person. To put it simply, he was her guardian angel in the game who always helped her while asking for nothing in return, regardless of who you go after, which I admit... requires a certain amount of maturity. Whenever he blushed was super cute, but I guess what made me not like him was the fact that he looked like... a middle aged man and beside Mina, a pedo. -_-;; Or well, not really since they're *technically* the same age xD Whatever, let's start his story: Zareh and Mina were childhood buddies and Zareh, of course, cared for Mina a lot. So when White Order took Mina away, Zareh joined White Order and worked his way up so that one day, he could try to save her, which he did. He was the one who sealed her... but also the one who unsealed her, so I guess that makes it fair? 
Also, he made it so that Varian was to blame for the unsealing of Mina, because he had to stay in White Order to know their moves and watch over her. Half of this guy's route was just narration, from his point of view. Mina was a normal girl from a village and she was older than Orion back then. She used to be friends with him until they took her away and the next time Zareh saw her in some jail cell, she barely remembered him. He saw that she was miserable and decided to live a double life for her to protect her. So in other words, he was the oracle that you saw first in the game, and also, he was the little boy that told you in the cave that you could only save one person. After the all omg that was my past, the head of White Order and Zareh confront eachother and fought. The leader sealed Mina's powers and Zareh fought for her. Obviously, he knew he couldn't lose or it's basically the end for both of them. The leader's name? Meh, didn't even bother to remember. It wasn't that relevant anyways XD Anyways, that guy used some hypnosis that made Zareh go against Mina, but because he loved her so much, he tried to break it, and then Mina loved him too and fought against the leader. They both stood together to use this super power that blast that stupid leader away. (No, he wasn't that stupid... I actually kind of liked him... OTL) Unfortunately, Zareh lost his hearing abilities. For a moment I was like "Awww"  (´ω`) It's so sad, yet... sweet, maybe? ;) Then they live together happily ever after <3 ... with Zareh unable to hear Mina's voice. ;A; Ah well, that's the saddest part, but the rest is super sweet so if you ever play this game, be sure to play his route <3<3

Mina - No, this path does not allow you to go after yourself. <.<;; It's just called a Death Path. I call this the Mina path because Mina is very independent in this one and doesn't need any men to protect her OvOb Which I super approve!!! 8D Basically, you get this when you decide to save no one and just flee, and you can't figure out that the Oracle is Orion. You tell the Oracle that you want revenge or whatever, or he gets it for you depending on what you pick I think. Then all the characters are brought by Orion to your dimension castle thing one by one, and you decide to kill or spare them. Me being me, I was already super agitated with friggin' mermaid lady, that White Order person, and at the time I hated Aerulius, so I chose the option of killing them all. (^O^) But then... Caius came and I was like OH SHIT WHY NOW ;A; -keeps him- I am such a softie like that... I even spared Caius in Rune's route. (._.) I... I just couldn't do anything bad to him because he was my favorite character in the whole dang game. So since I killed everyone, I got the evil route, and ended up like killing A LOT of people. Including tons from White Order, and started playing S&M with them. OvOb No, I wasn't into those kinds of things so for the most part it was kind of like whatthehellisallthisshit. But nevertheless, I was glad the creator of the game created this. Too less otome games have heroines that are not a wuss. -_-

This game, overall, was okay. For art, it was... not the best but considering that I actually played it,  means that it's passable/alright. The story was good, though I confess not playing through every path. Too much words, CGs, and time being consumed OTL. Though I have like 90% of the CGs so I think I've gone through most of what the game has to offer. The music was... meh, no comment, meaning it was alright. But I think some parts of it was too repetitive music so I just turned it off at some point I think. I liked all the programming and effort + hard work that was put into the game, though. All the CGs *O* The GUI (Interface) was very nicely done :3 If I were to rate this game, it would probably be 8/10, because the story was good. Not one route revealed ALL the answers of the mystery which made me want to play more and more of it XD Anyways, definitely recommend it for everyone~ (Shit, this review took me about a month to write *A*;;)


  1. Orion was the blond guy.
    The white haired guy you thought of as Orion was Zareh.

  2. Oh man, my bad. D;
    I didn't play in a long time so I mixed it all up <w<;; thanks for pointing that out! Gonna fix that now xD;;

  3. Welcome owo
    (Is the "Anonymous" who commented before)
    Good thing you did owo
    So you like Zareh's light ending too? I got it first time playing. owo

  4. Wow, thx for the review, i just play this game and end up with dark & earth path, true life path, and light water path, OMG when Caius's dark path i was cried, also when Zareh's path T^T
    In my opinion all good, but the graphic (character's picture)still need improvement :DD
    Btw do you get the 3rd picture of eart path? seem i missed it
    - Khiery

  5. @anonymous 1: ahaha sry for late reply;; yup, I got it too =u=b I thought his light ending was kind of sad. :'D

    @anonymous 2: LOL I loved his dark path for some reason OTL maybe it's just my yandere personalit-//shot Anyways, yeah, Zareh's path made me sad too and I agree! Sadly my comp crashed, so I don't have my cgs anymore so I can't answer your last question ;v;

    @Anike: Once you save him from the cave, I think you just keep on going left... or at least keep on going to the lake or waterfall or some water. Then keep on making him fish and you will get good ending OvOb

  6. OMG!!!
    i absolutely LOVE this game!!
    i think i am actaully IN LOVE with caius <3 :D lol


    (oh, and Aurelius is secretly gay ^w^ with Orion/Varian)

  8. CAIUS!!! lol I kept him with me too. When you keep Aysel too (she was so annoying in Aurelius' path that I kept her as a maid, add that she was from a noble family, and end up being Aurelius' bride pincess's etc in the dark path after betraying Mina!!), Caius's like "but i love bringing you your dresses!" XD I also kept Oryon since he wasch a jerk yet powerful!! Héhé thnking he'd follow my orders xD If only that path wasn't so short...
    Also,try playing Zareh dark path. It is very hort, and you got to see how he is if his dear Mina reject his love XD
    THANK YOU for the review I enjoyed reading it!!

  9. Nice review! :)
    I'm playing it right now and I think it is a really good VN. :D

  10. Yay! Light ending with Cauis!! ~(^o^)~ Happy Dance!

  11. Mine favorite was Zareh!! Hehe... Cause I didn't play the other route... I did cry when I played Zareh's route... So touching T^T

  12. LOL, i just played this game and instantly got Zareh's path, I'm trying to hit on Caius too but ended up with the Oracle :( I didn't know he was the hidden character but his story was so touching and i got a really good ending. Though this VN was so time consuming that i tend to skip and somehow i didn't really understand the story XD (too lazy for that) Anyway, thanks for writing this wonderful review so i can have spoilers now :D

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  14. at first, this game a bit boring... but after you playing it a while you will love it :D now i addicted about this game :D i really love Zareh Light Ending :D i love him so much, he's pure love make me cry lolz... ^,^

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  16. Nice review :'D
    My first try was Caius' ending..and it was the bad one ; w ;...
    I still love him though..
    I got too depressed and hated him at first but after all the others ending which was Light and Dark.. I had to go back and finish on what i started >:D ~! Caius' light ending was the best.. for me..<3 (wellistilllikezarehandrune'sending<3<3)

  17. Hi, this is my first time playing this game and I got zareh light ending.
    But, actually I wanna get Caius .-.

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  25. I played your Frozen Essence every single day~
    Caius is just so dreamy~
    I'm in love~!
    Caius why u no real, sweetheart~?!