Eternal Wish is an otome game for the PC made by a Japanese indie developer known as Princess Crown. I came across it when I was looking for games to add to my list of otome games with gameplay but didn’t add it because it’s an adult 18+ game. I discovered in the process that Eternal Wish had a free safe-for-work trial version with all the porn taken out. The art didn’t look too bad and the gameplay sounded right up my alley, so I downloaded it and tried it yesterday.
Story: Heroine Iris is an alchemy prodigy but she’s also a shut-in who has a hard time dealing with people. One day a knight in service comes with a request: the Prince has been cursed and only the mythical Litos item can save him. Can Iris use her alchemy skills to make one? After some hemming and hawing, she decides this is her chance to burst out of her shell, become a first-rate alchemist and put the kingdom in her debt all at the same time. There’s no way this could possibly go wrong, is there?
Gameplay: Super simplified alchemy. Players expecting anything on the level of Gust’s Atelier games will be disappointed. The alchemy seems like more of an afterthought, a way to raise affection quickly and save themselves the effort of writing lots of dialogue. This is the main menu:
If you have a synthesis request from someone, you select Synthesize (調合). If you have the ingredients you’ll make it immediately, no mucking about with tools and additives and success rates and time passage, none of that stuff. Anything you make has a 100% success rate and takes one day flat. If you don’t have the ingredients, you’ll have to go foraging.
There are no enemy encounters, no seasons, no walking around and all items drop immediately in generous quantities as long you’re in the right place. See why I called the alchemy an afterthought? Part of me is grateful to have any gameplay at all in an otome game. I really like the cute item designs as well. On the other hand did they even need to have alchemy in the game when there’s so little to it? Ah well, it is what it is. Not going to waste brain cells thinking about it.
Romance: There are 5 characters in the game, Iris and the 4 bishes she can date, of which three appear in the cover image above. There’s Claudio the knight (blond), Lyon his annoying boss (brunette) and Karma, Iris’s assistant (purple hair) During the week she forages and synthesizes and makes small talk with any bishie that drops by. On weekends she goes out to see one of the guys. They talk and talk (and possibly more than that, but I played the worksafe version) and then he ends up liking her more. It seems like one of those games where if you just talk to a guy enough you’ll get his affection high enough to trigger his ending. I don’t think there’s a flag system, though I could be wrong.
The big problem is the “dumb beyond belief” heroine who makes every event an exercise in frustration. For example she goes to the castle to do research and is stopped by someone who wants to know who she is. The Litos request is top-secret so she can’t tell the full truth, but she could at least say “I’m here to see Claudio” right? Why say something reckless like “I’m here to do a job but I can’t tell you what it is so you’ll just have to trust me”? Who is stupid enough to buy that? You’re just asking for more trouble, you stupid idiot, I was muttering to myself the whole time.
Or take the event where she runs into Claudio in town. Common sense 101: When you run into a guy you barely know in town, you do not immediately go with him to a hotel room no matter how heavily it’s raining. And if you do go, you do not get into a boiling hot bath and immediately proceed to faint. Otherwise this might happen:
I know it’s an adult game and they have to meet their h-quota somehow, but this is just ridiculous. Actually I have no idea how the rest of this event played out because that was the point where I went “Oookaaaay…” *closes window* *deletes game* so let’s assume he put some clothes on her and sent her home and that was the end of the game, The End.
Final thoughts: I wasn’t going to play Eternal Wish anyway because of the whole adult thing. And since the alchemy is boring and the writing is so dumb I wouldn’t be interested in an all-ages version either. Honestly all the bishies were boring as well. On the plus side, the colors were pretty. I liked the art, pointy chins and all. Plus I’m always happy to see other companies other than Gust tackle the alchemy simulation genre, even if they don’t do it very well. The demo is free if you want to try it but honestly I don’t really recommend it. Pass unless you’re super-bored.