Intro: In a land trapped in eternal winter, Jed lives in a snow-white tower in the darkest part of the woods. Every year she and the townspeople hold a masquerade in the hopes that spring will someday melt away the winter. The Wolf and Hawk clans rule the town together, with the Wolves seeking harmony and compassion, and the Hawks an iron-clad fist over the people. The two clans spark animosity and distrust through the town, coupled with a stark fear of the Witch’s curse. The Witch is a red-eyed woman who will bring destruction to the town, and if she is killed, the winter spell will break. Jed is the very witch they seek, and she dons the disguise of a young man to avoid persecution, but when she comes into contact with the Kaleido-via, a symbol of both peace and war between the Wolf and Hawk clans, her discovery unlocks devastating consequences.
** You don’t need to play Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly to play Ashen Hawk. If you have, it’s easier to digest the narrative as there are a ton of crossovers between the two, essentially expanding on a universe from the first game. As always, Final Thoughts are spoiler free, but not the route summaries!**
Common Route: is super long so I’ll paraphrase. Jed gets used to crossdressing for info-gathering and has many encounters with her love interests ranging from second-hand embarrassment to hilarious to I need holy water. The common route is thirsty for Lugus like Code Realize was for Lupin, so most of Jed’s interactions with him eventually fall into OTP categories concerning the main plot. And oh boi there’s plot! Francisca nice-boats to protect Jed when Olgar stages a coup on her estate, claiming she’s the witch. Jed is running away from the place when Lugus catches her, and he finds out his waifu was Jed all along (and a witch, wow one revelation after the other, oof!). Jed learns that Levi is the psychotic mass murderer known as the Black Shadow in town. His stone awakened his inner serial killer, and Francisca told him to kill a bunch of people so that Lavan’s reputation wouldn’t be soiled. To help disguise him, she gave him a knife that had the Hawk clan’s insignia on it. Hugh says there’s a chance Levi was always meant to become a serial killer, because if it hadn’t been for the stone, his desire to kill wouldn’t have awakened. Or, it could be Levi just wanted his mom’s love so badly he ended up convincing himself he loved killing people, so either way it’s messed up. Olgar’s magic stone is driving him mad so Jed uses her pretty-boi powers to seduce Tee and manipulate her to take Olgar’s ring away from him. Daddy isn’t happy, so he cuts her down but Tee manages to escape. She goes mute and somehow represses all knowledge of Jed to protect herself (srsly poor thing) and so everyone decides it’s time to shank Olgar.
Heroe’s End: they march onto Olgar’s estate. Lugus lets the maids and servants flee before the fight, but his own clan cuts them down like asshats. Hugh takes Jed away from the fight and helps her break into Olgar’s estate. He fends off their pursuers while she goes by herself to take on Olgar. Which is kinda HMMMM because Lugus tells said he’s never once defeated his dad in sword fighting and Jed couldn’t even last in a fight against Lugus. But oh well let her go by herself sure, it’s not a suicide mission! Olgar refuses to hand over his ring even after she injures him and says he’s had enough of this shit. He flings himself out of the tower to his death. At first everyone’s like “ummmm” but Lugus and Lavan forgive each other and the Wolf and Hawk clans end up becoming good friends. They celebrate Olgar’s death rofl and Hugh says that this is only a temporary happy ending.
Wolf Brother’s End: Ashen Hawk was the worst husband ever. After Olgar married Aria and Ashen Hawk married Francisca (Olgar’s sister), they met Hugh who tells them about the Kaleido-via: it connects the world of the living to the world of the dead. If one used the Kaleido-via, they could bring back the dead. Ashen Hawk was never home so Francisca thought he was cheating on her with Aria (but she never asks either of them?). Rumors of a witch causing the terrible weather surface, and fed up with being ignored, she bribes a poor man with food and shelter to the kill the Witch, implying that it’s Aria. BITCH NO. So he gathered a party and set fire to Aria’s estate when Olgar had left to go pick snowdrop flowers for her. In the middle of the flames Aria gave birth to a girl and gave her the snowdrop pendant Olgar had made for her anniversary or something. This is one of the stones to activate the Kaleido-via. Francisca accused Aria of sleeping with Ashen Hawk HOW DO YOU COME TO THIS CONCLUSION?! but Aria just told her to take care of her baby and that her name was Eiar – so Olgar is Jed’s father :O When Olgar returned, he found his estate in ashes. His wife’s hand crumpled to ash when he reached for her and he screamed in agony. In a rage, he tracked down her murderers and slew them. The last man he killed told him that Olgar’s own sister had told him to kill Aria because she was a witch, and as Olgar left with the Kaleido-via, the dying man called out for his son, Lugus.
Ashen Hawk ran into Francisca holding Eiar. I don’t know how his first thought was “my wife killed my best friend’s wife” but it was. He found Olgar at the top of the tower (where Ashen Hawk and Jed now live) and they fought. Ashen Hawk cut Olgars eye and Olgar gouged out Ashen Hawk’s eye and knocked him off the tower. Olgar tried to bring Francisca back to life with the Kaleido-via, but nothing happened and he threw it down in despair. The snow never stopped falling and eventually crushed the town, killing everyone. When Olgar wished on the Kaleido-via, he didn’t have all of the stones so now the town is trapped in the space between life and death, called the Psychedelica. The town is filled with the “thoughts” of people. When they die, they fall into the Abyss, a never-ending blackness that drives you insane. Lugus captures Jed to stop a bloodbath after the townspeople remember everything and try to kill her to break the spell. Ashen Hawk tells her he’s failed in everything he tried and that this world is a culmination of his and Olgar’s wishes. If the Kaleido-via is completed, they can escape the cycle of snow and witch prosecutions, but Jed will have to die, because the last stone is in her eye and is connected to her soul. When she was a loli, she found the Kaleido-via with her friends but Aria’s ghost told them to stay away. Somehow, Jed crushed the snowdrop pendant into her eyeball :O This is why she can see the other stones with her eye. Ashen Hawk and Hugh give her the option to run away from her impending death, but she can’t decide. If she sacrifices herself, the Kaleido-via will destroy the town and kill everyone in it and they’ll go to the Abyss. If she runs away, the clans will kill each other, because one wants to save her and the other wants to kill her. They’ll name a new witch to take her place and the cycle will continue. Since Jed hasn’t made a decision, Lavan kills the prison guards, gets her out of the cell, and cruelly stabs one of the guards who tried to crawl away. Dude that was seriously overkill. Levi and Lavan use their stones to wreak havoc. After every person in the town is dead, Jed breaks down and cries.
Bad End: Francisca convinces Jed that this is just a bad dream and to lock herself away into the Abyss.
( ͡◉◞ ͜ʖ◟ ͡◉)Lavan: is
A CREEPY BOI the heir to the Wolf clan. He goes stone-cold killer in some routes and because of his shady ass knowing Jed’s gender from the beginning and how he acts with her, everything he did felt premeditated. When they were kids he pretended to have a wedding with her and now his current hobbies include pinning Jed down because SEXUAL TENSION. There’s a lot wrong with this shit but I enjoyed his trashy, creeper route. I NEED JESUS. After Levi shanks her in the woods and Lugus takes care of her, she returns to the church with the knowledge that she can use her eye to look into people’s hearts. Lavan is there and he rushes forward to embrace her, saying he’s glad she’s alright. She sees through his lewd kokoro and sees all of his fantasies She invites him to her room and says that Levi is the Black Shadow and he attacked her…and that Francisca is the one ordering him to kill people. At first Lavan refuses to accept it, but she holds her ground and he says it must be because Levi and Francisca don’t think he’s reliable as the heir to the Wolf clan. He says, BTW I had this sensation that you entered me when my ring shone ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is this your power? HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT WHAT IS THIS LEWDNESS THIS IS A CHRISTIAN SERVER. She asks him to spend the night with her like they’re two buds chilling in a hot tub. He asks her if she understands what her invitation means ( ◉◞౪◟◉) Turns out she wanted someone beside her because she’s scared (can’t blame her). Poor guy was expecting a kokuhaku lol. They make out and maybe banged but Otomate likes to be vague to keep that Cero rating down.
She spares Olgar and is imprisoned and during her short period of freedom to ghost the town, Lavan says he’ll throw away his title to save her if she wants. The next day, Lavan presents her to Lugus as the Lady of the Wolf clan: she can’t be the witch if she’s his wife, duh! Lugus is a little upset that he can’t score with her but he doesn’t want another war to start so he lets her go. Levi leaves the house noticing the tension between them because Lavan is just RAGING over his dad. Lavan thinks he tied Jed to him against her will and is being selfish like his dad. Jed asks Ashen Hawk to tell his son he loves him. Ashen says his words won’t get to him like she can and through some soul-searching she discovers she’s in wuv with Lavan so she races off to find him. Ashen tells Lavan to come out of hiding FBI OPEN UP. Seriously this man is everywhere, why did I enjoy this route?! This is so wrong rofl. Jed returns his father’s necklace to him and says he’ll protect the clan he abandoned OOF and the guy’s just dying for Jed to confess so he acts like he just happened to run into her and she confesses in the church and they kiss.
Renzo Levi: is your typical genki man who has an inferiority complex to his aniki, Lavan, the HOTASBALLSBUTSUPERCREEPY heir to the Wolf Clan. Levi is also the Black Shadow and may or may not have become a serial killer if he never had the magic stone. So if you like your bad boiz? To be fair he’s nothing like Demento praise Otomate. Levi’s life sucks but we all like seeing our ikemen suffer so why not have his mom dump a cart of expectations onto him! If he kills all of the people who talk smack about Lavan or the Wolf Clan, mommy will be proud. Talk about fucked up! There’s barely any romance in his route until the ending and oh boy does it come out of nowhere. Jed pulls love outta her ass despite having no idea what love even was in Lavan’s route and decides to tell everyone she’s the Black Shadow to save him – but Levi confesses to his crimes before she can frame herself. She’s freed and he’s incarcerated. Lavan lets them exchange letters for a month and then tells her she can make Levi’s meals. One day on her way to the jail, a blizzard traps her in the prison together with Levi so they hold hands through the bars and talk about the future and getting married and having kids. Because the bars are so close together they can’t do anything so he kisses her hand. The town decides to kill him. But they don’t want to kill him themselves, oh no, that’s what Mother Nature’s for! Lavan says Levi was exiled and if anyone aides him, they too will be banished. So…Jed chases after him and finds a note in his cell that says ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you.’ Like, gee you couldn’t even think to write something else? M’kay, thanks. She finds him in the snowdrop field and says she’s going with him. Levi thanks her because now he’s not going to die in the harsh elements alone! If they don’t first freeze to death, they’ll starve – but considering he already had FROSTBITTEN ARMS at this point I think it’s safe to say we know how this ends. While I like the guy and feel bad for what his mom did he still chose to kill people for her. If there’d been a happy ending, that’d feel cheap.
Lord End: No romance in this route because incest ain’t hot kids! Ashen Hawk lazes around all day every day in his tower and is pretty much useless. Thank God he’s a ghost because he’d have starved to death by then. Because he’s died twice, (once by Olgar and again by being crushed under the snow that killed everyone in the town) he’s a ghost. So if he dies a third time does he just go to the Abyss or does he go through Ghost-inception? He even tells Jed he’s a ghost but because he’s such a lazy guy it sounds like his excuse for why he doesn’t help around the tower. Ashen Hawk’s story is explained in almost all of the other routes. He was a deadbeat dad to Lugus and Levi and sparked jealousy in his wife, Francisca. To the point where she thought he was cheating on her with Aria and she decided to kill her. You know, like normal people do. This led to Olgar and Ashen fighting each other and the creation of the Psychedelica. Ashen asks Jed to let him ferry her away from her impending death and she agrees. He sweeps her away to the tower where she cycles through consciousness and unconsciousness. He tells her his story again and that he won’t lose her like he lost the other “witches”, Aria and Francisca. So the blizzard continues to rage on outside and she forever wastes away in the tower.
Hugh: is this game’s biggest mystery. We first meet this so-beautiful-I-could-cry man at the Tavern as an old jiji. When he becomes an ikemen it’s like Christmas has come early. Hugh is a traveller who writes down all of the interesting stories he comes across and he knows more than anyone should. He almost feels like a God of the Psychedelica worlds because he references the events in BB and it seems as if there are countless other worlds out there he’s seen. I highly suspect he’s the traveler Hikage bought the Kaleido-via from in BB!! It’s crazy how this all comes full-circle and I have to give the writers credit here. He’s also Haku, Olgar’s servant :O which is crazy because I liked Haku a lot and welp here he is! On top of that, Hugh was once the Ashen Witch’s pet hawk, who was brutally murdered by Aprus as a kid. Hugh’s super lonely because throughout his travels he’s lost sight of who he is. Jed tells him not to mope around because he’s not a main character in a story: he already is the main character of his own life. He asks her to go away with him after she’s imprisoned. He says the only way for this to work is if they fall in love. She’s like WUT and he explains that if she has eyes only for him, he won’t be alone anymore. If he’s not alone + she can observe him and = formulate her own idea of who he is. So….does he even like her? rofl when she agrees he kisses her and NO CG FOR YOU and takes her to the tower and turns her into a butterfly (yo dude this deal ain’t what I thought). Through her transformation she loses her eye (which is her soul tethering her to this world) and Ashen Hawk comes in all NANI ARE YOU DOING. He takes Jed-butterfly with him, wondering what Aria would think when she realized he kidnapped her daughter and then they fly away from this Psychedelica and probably into another one. Or heaven. Who knows. So if he’s not the god of the worlds who is he?
Lugus: is the canon route and Olgar’s adopted son. His biological father was a starving artist who led a revolt to murder Aria after he was promised food, shelter, and money by Francisca. After Aria died, Olgar slew him. Olgar found Lugus and burned his arms WUT his dad paid for his crime with his life! STOP. He then adopted Lugus because his eyes reminded him of a hawk, but Lugus would only go with him if he took Tee as well. Feeling guilty about the whole burning thing, Olgar tattooed Lugus’s arms to cover the burns….*sigh* Lugus is feared amongst the townspeople for his merciless nature, but he’s really just a kuudere deep down. His friends get him involved with a tavern girl with the biggest melons for boobs you’ll ever see. This tavern lady has been supplying Jed with wigs and dresses to crossdress for info-gathering, and in return she asks Jed to go in her place to break up with Lugus at their usual meeting spot at night. Disguised as a girl, Jed goes to relay the news to him, but because it’s so dark, Lugus mistakes her for the tavern lady and he kisses her.
Jed slaps him and says the tavern lady won’t be seeing him any longer and she leaves, embarrassed because she’s never been kissed and the person she first experienced it with was none other than the grouchy heir to the Hawk Clan. The next day, Jed is disguised as a woman and she runs into Olgar. He bows and apologizes for kissing her. He then asks if he can see her again lol. His sister Tee shows up and says the Masquerade is approaching and that Jed shouldn’t even think that her amazing brother would ever ask her to the masquerade. Tee and Lugus both run into Jed and her disguise throughout and it’s hilarious because Tee ends up falling for Jed, thinking she’s a dude. Lugus is the only guy who uses Jed’s real name, which I thought was really cute. When the masquerade ends, Francisca is murdered by Olgar’s men for being a witch, and Lugus discovers the woman he’s been in love with has been Jed this whole time – and that she’s the actual witch. Talk about catfishing! After the common route concludes and Jed is incarcerated, Hugh lets her slip out of her cell for a moment to decide on what she wants to do. She goes to the snowdrop field specifically looking for Lugus. She’s worried he’ll take her back to jail, and decides to believe that he won’t, so she starts walking toward him. Lugus doesn’t say a word which freaks her out, but he just grabs her and kisses her.
He arrested her so the people wouldn’t slaughter her which makes sense considering all that happened and really, what could he even do? Lugus says he wants to protect this town, and if she wants to be free he’ll let her go, but if she can’t decide he’ll have to kill her. She goes back to her cell and Lugus comes in and tells Olgar he must atone for his crimes. He comes back a few days later saying that because Olgar is a Lord, they’ll give him the dignity of deciding when he wants to die and gives him a bottle of poison. Jed tries to talk him out of it because he’s still her father and there’s a slight chance the Psychedelica world will end. Olgar says he understands why Lugus loves her and that she’s a good daughter before he takes the poison and dies. Lugus admits Olgar and him hatched a plan to free her: Olgar died and the poisoned bottle rolled into cell, and in despair, Jed drank it. So the town thinks the witch and Olgar are both dead, when in reality Jed is living as a woman in the Hawk estate. Unfortunately, she’s locked in one room for all her life because no-one can know she’s alive. The only time she ever leaves is on the day of the masquerade, where she can disguise herself. Like??? she can’t disguise herself all the time or grow out her hair and plaster makeup on? But maybe Lavan and Levi would sniff her out. Dayum, what a life.
Heroine End: Jed is taken to the town square to be tried for the charges against her: cursing the town to be in eternal winter, seducing the Hawk clan, and being a witch. When they start calling her the Black Shadow, Levi tries to shift the blame by admitting that he’s the serial killer, but Jed cuts him off by laughing hysterically. She tells the people she has them in her clutches and that she is the dreaded witch, revealing her red eye for effect. Lugus fights her and she lets him kill her. The night before, she told him that the only way to free the townspeople from the Psychedelica was to complete the Kaleido-via. Her eye holds the last piece to the Kaleido-via, but to remove it, her soul will be ripped from her. He calls her a witch, saying that only a witch could tell him to kill the very woman he loves (´。＿。｀) After Jed dies, the snowflakes turn into petals and Lugus picks up Jed’s body and carries her to the church. Lavan and Levi rush after him and are about to fight him when Lawrence and Elric tell them that Lugus is weeping. Lugus explains Jed’s plan, and that she lied to him. She promised that after her death she could return to the world of the living, but Hugh informed Lugus that her soul would fall into the Abyss if she died before the Kaleido-via was put together. So Lugus nice-boats himself to save her from the Abyss. GET YOU A MAN LIKE LUGUS. Jed is losing all sense of herself in the Abyss, when someone reaches out to her. Lugus pulls her out of the darkness, calling her by her real name ❤ The next scene is of modern day Japan in the summer. Beniyuri and Jed are on their way to their first day of school, and they pass by several cameos from BB. When Jed rushes onto campus, she bumps into a boy who tells her he’s just transferred to this school. And it’s Lugus! As Jed races into the building, a figure on top of the roof rips out some pages in his notebook. It’s Hugh. He disappears on a breeze as a butterfly.
Traveler’s End: is the most otome-like you’ll get rofl and is essentially one big fantasy for Jed’s desire to live as a normal girl. So if anything feels too good to be true, correct! Hugh wanted to give Aria’s daughter a life of happiness, but Aria says that Hugh really fell in love with Jed. Jed wishes she’d never been born a witch. If she was a normal girl, she could wear bombass dresses and makeup. Hugh meets her at the Tavern and he introduces himself as Ash. He says he’s a writer searching for certain books, and that he jots down stories from his travels. Jed is so fascinated by his journeys that she comes to speak to him every day. One day, he shows her the beginning of a new story to her: a normal girl and a boy fall in love. Jed starts to feel depressed because she’s always wanted to be a normal girl. She tries asks him if the girl is based on one of the girls he knew from his traveling, but is too embarrassed to do so. He says that she’s a cute and kind girl・:*:・:┣¨キ(*ﾟДﾟ*)┣¨キ:・:*:・and she blushes so hard her witch eye flares up. Terrified that people will realize she’s a witch, she flees the Tavern and asks Francisca about her eye. But for some reason Francisca doesn’t notice her eye has turned red even when she tries to show her. Jed is free and can live a normal life! Later that night, Hugh tells her that a witch had saved his life once and that’s why he sought out this town. Hugh tells her that he doesn’t know who he is and that she won’t remember this conversation when she wakes up. The Tavern’s only employee quits suddenly because she’s not getting enough pay for her work and she wants to spend more time with her boyfriend. Jed volunteers to help the owner out. She has a lot of fun doing so, and Ash tells her he enjoys watching her work. A few days later, the boyfriend and the previous employee get into an argument but thanks to Jed, they make up (and then everyone claps…oh dear rofl writing101 guys). Ash takes her out to the snowdrop field that night and tells her he’s in love with her. He apologizes for taking part of her story. Jed’s not sure what he’s talking about but she reciprocates and the two embrace in the field.
Link End: Aria tells Hugh that he’s no longer her Ashen Hawk and he’s free to travel and write his own stories. She finds it amusing that one of his stories featured him falling in love a girl, but Hugh tries to be sly and act like he was just using her as a substitute for Aria. Aria denies it, saying he truly loved this girl, and we learn that Aria knows this girl is her future daughter. It’s a little confusing because Aria can see into the future so like….how did Hugh experience this love story of his? Olgar shows up and takes Aria to the snowdrop field where he gives her a pendant he made for her. She tells him she’s pregananant and that she wants to name the girl Eiar, after the girl Hugh fell in love with in his story. Olgar asks how she can know their baby is a girl and she says it’s simply because she’s a witch. And we all know that somewhere in this field, the child Lugus overheard this conversation, which would play a role in convincing his dad to murder Aria. What a trip….
Hugh’s Notes: are a compilation of mini-stories based off of the main cast which fleshes out any unanswered questions. And I sincerely recommend you read them, not only because it answers things and gets you the platinum, but because they’re fantastic pieces that illustrate why Francisca did what she did. Her parents abused her and forbade her from making friends with anyone from another clan. She relied on her brother, Olgar, for guidance and safety. She saw the world as her enemy and felt betrayed when she realized Olgar had not become friends with Aria and Aprus for strategic purposes, but because he enjoyed their friendship. Her mind was twisted to the point where she convinced herself that her husband was cheating on her with Aria, and she ordered Aria’s death. She even strangles Jed when she’s only an infant but then decides this is a new trial for herself. If she can raise Jed to be loved by all, she’s the best person ever! Jesus, lady. I feel for her, but I can’t ever justify what she’s done. Making her son murder people, choking an infant, accusing her friend of sleeping with her husband without any proof other than, “My husband ignores me. He’s never home. I must kill Aria.” And the more you learn about Olgar…I just want to hold him and tell him everything’s alright. Poor guy. I especially loved how the artists played with tropes and perceptions people have toward each other. Olgar looks like he’s going to be an evil guy and for the most part he is the main villain, but once you learn just what kind of crap he had to deal with…it’s scary. Particularly so when you see Francisca doting on her children and sacrificing herself for Jed and you learn her heart was darker than anyone else’s.
The Fairy Tale: the beginning of the game opens with a fairy tale. I recommend you read it again after you finish the story. This opening is so vague that you don’t really understand its importance until the game is over and you look back at it.
What Black Butterfly Could Have Been
I was super worried about Ashen Hawk after Black Butterfly because holy crap was BB godawful. BB failed to accomplish what it set out to do, but AH delivered in spades so round of applause for going from “I want to burn this shit” to “You sweet angel.” AH tells an intricate story interwoven by many characters and their actions. Every character has a role. This is not a fluffy otoge so the romance in this game isn’t all cute and happy, but if you like tension, drama and angst with your romance this is for you. Happy endings aren’t awarded to the characters just because it’s an otoge or they’re the main characters. They suffer a lot, but that just makes the end result that much sweeter. The story takes a few chapters to start rolling, taking the time to build the world and explore the cast. But when it gets rolling it picks up a ton of speed.
I love her so much I could cry! If you like Cardia Beckford oh boi do I have wonderful news for you!!! Add more confidence, sword-fighting skills, and a pinch of complexity and you have Jed/Eiar. Otoge heroines never go out of their comfort zone and do shady things, but Jed don’t give a crap. She’ll do what she must, even if it means seriously screwing over someone. She’s a complex, well-written character and I’d love to be her friend. I love her struggle of desiring to live her life as a normal girl and being unable to. She experiences a huge shock to see the different ways she is treated as both a man and woman, and her insecurities with each role. She doesn’t put one gender above the other and simply shows us how things are.
System: You’ll need this to survive. The common route is the backbone of the game, just like with BB. You’ll read mini-stories on a map during certain chapter breaks. These allow you to get to know the townspeople, the lore, the legends, all the good stuff. They’re important to understanding the world and are fun to read (unlike BB which felt like an unfinished storyboard). The love interests in this game also have mini-stories on the map and while I wanted to hurl my vita at my wall with BB, this game did a fantastic job with these “routes” because the town felt alive. I cared about what was happening, and with the story this game was trying to tell, you need to care.
Localization: Oh boy I hate to be that person but it’s very noticeable that whoever was the localizer/editor didn’t go through their lines. The tense shifts a lot and there’s so many beginner Japanese translations, like “It can’t be helped” or “Such a thing as.” Guess it can’t be helped?
SHOOT ME. If you know Japanese or are around N3/N2 level, you should be okay with this game. But if not, the localization is here and it’s not godawful, don’t get me wrong. I just think someone else should’ve been localizing/editing.
Art: There’s some CGs where a character’s hand just engulfs Jed so if you like yaoi you’ll feel right at home. While these CGs are few, the rest are pretty to look at and the anatomy is good. The detailed embroidery on the character’s clothes are mesmerizing and if I had the money I’d consider the art book because I really want to take a closer look. Like BB and 7’Scarlet, there are some animations which I think is a lovely touch. I’m also happy that Jed gets her own sprite because it really make her feel like she’s in this world.
Music: The opening and ending songs both have lyrics that pertain to the story, so that was cool. I can’t decide which song is my favorite. The entire soundtrack is really good and gives the world a cozy feel. One scene has a looped crying baby track and it’s really bad.
Characters: (What’s with all the L’s in here though?)
Tee: isn’t a romance option but I want to give her a huge shoutout. She starts off as this super annoying ear-bleed inducing oujousama, but she really grows into a great character and I was devastated when things went wrong for her.
Levi: is a cheerful genki guy who likes Jed for Jed and it doesn’t matter to him if Jed’s a boy or a girl. He feels like the best buds kinda guy and I felt bad for him with what happened but I’m glad they didn’t just toss a happy ending at the player like it was nothing. If he’s your favorite oof he doesn’t get much.
Lavan: I know he’s a toxic guy. Everything about him feels premeditated when it comes to Jed when you learn things about him. And yet…I liked his route He creeps me out at the same time that he intrigues me and I need Jesus. Something about him is irresistible and I don’t know if it’s his seiyuu or just the good points of his character because his darker sides scare the crap out of me. I’m not sure if I should be like STAY 10 FT AWAY SIR or not. I’m trash confirmed.
Lugus: is the canon boy and I can’t complain with that. The story supports his role very well and he’s just a big kuudere. His route isn’t very “happy” but one of the endings patches that mistake and really cements his canon status. I thought he was a great character and I ship it.
Hugh: a devastatingly gorgeous man who knows more than anyone should and the game really just wants you to be like “who is this intriguing man?” only to scatter breadcrumbs around your feet. Will we ever learn who he really is an another game? Who knows. I’m on board even if I can’t tell what his true feelings for Jed are.
Route Order: I’d refer to the guide but you can pretty much choose any order you want.
Favorite boiz from left to right:
Hugh=Lugus>Lavan>Levi (Holy crap that’s all there were?! Whoa…)
Overall I had a lot of fun with this game! You don’t need to play Black Butterfly to play this. All you’ll miss out on are some Easter Eggs but personally I was just so pissed off at BB that I never, ever want to play that crap again haha. If you liked it all the more power to you! Like BB, this is more of a visual novel than an otoge, but unlike BB this game did have romance and it was cute. Ashen Hawk takes a more realistic approach concerning endings, so say there’s a convicted murderer in jail. Would he be let go because of the power of love? If you picked YES OF COURSE HE WOULD! then maybe don’t play this game rofl. But if you like well-written stories with plenty of tragedy, angst, and hope, pick this up. Especially if you want a fantastic heroine because Jed is goals. And she’s voiced!!! YES.
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What did you think of Ashen Hawk? Did you like the Easter Eggs from BB?
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