Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate Complete
The saga of the Dark Lord, Magus Drakhen Lee, begins in this 25+ hour long epic JRPG celebration of classic 16-Bit titles infused with a mature and darker story filled with intrigue from a very different perspective.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (59 reviews) - 62% of the 59 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 19, 2014

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Reviews

“Overall, Chronicles of a Dark Lord is an exceptional game that is certainly worthy of much more attention.”
8/10 – Dark Zero

“Its quirky style and wonderful presentation make this one of the best RPGs I have played in a while.”
4/5 – Operation Rainfall

“A lot of love has gone into making this game and CoaDL offers a lot of bang for your buck.”
86% – 1v1

The Rebirth Update is now live!

We're happy to announce that we've launched the "Rebirth" Update for Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode I Tides of Fate on Steam. This update is free for all Steam owners, and should automatically install, depending on your settings.

The following is a comprehensive list of all the features and changes you can expect for the update:

Features of this update:
1) Revised dialogue for many of the major cut-scenes of the game. NPC dialogue has been mostly left as-is (save for grammar and spelling fixes). We felt that some of the dialogue in the game, especially for the more significant cut-scenes, needed to be more on par with the quality of Episode 2's writing, and act as more of a tie-in rather than the disconnect that was there before.

2) The current sprites for the party members that are seen in towns/overworld are no longer the same sprites seen in combat. In-combat sprites are now larger, more detailed sprites.

3) Resolution options before the start of the game. When the update goes into effect and the game is launched, you'll be greeted with a choice of resolutions. Due to the native resolution of the engine (544x416), we had to keep the width multiples of 544 in order to have the best display quality. The following will be the options: "Full Screen", "1632x1080", "1088x768", "544x416". Please note that you won't be able to see the Achievements pop up in Full Screen, due to how the Steam client manages them with the engine.

4) Steam Achievements - Achievements are now implemented in the game. Note that older saves are compatible, but that you won't be able to unlock earlier achievements without starting a new game, which we strongly recommend.

5) Minor graphical enhancements for the overworld, water, flooring, walls, objects, etc.

6) Tweaked some of the enemies' battle A.I. and re-balanced damage output for some skills.

7) Various bug fixes, gameplay smoothing.

We want to also note that due to the inherent limitations of the engine, we won't be able to fix the issue of those with Xbox/PC Controllers having to use the analog stick instead of the D-Pad to move your character around/navigate the menus. This is a known issue with these engines unfortunately, however if you press F1 at any time when the game is launched you'll be able to configure some of the button controls if you desire (but not the D-Pad controls unfortunately).

You can also press F5 at any time during gameplay to switch between Windowed and Full Screen. F6 can also be used at any time during gameplay to switched between Windowed Modes (dependent on the size of your screen). Please do not use F12, it can cause crash issues with the game.

About This Game

Enter a world of shadowy intrigue where stained pasts collide with the present in an explosive confrontation that will define one young man's dark destiny, as he attempts to thwart the machinations of a true evil beyond all imagining...

  • Immerse yourself into a dark and complex world of intrigue with over 25 hours of Gameplay
  • Includes the previously released "Nightmare Vision" DLC content
  • Enhanced retro graphics melded with HD-quality background animations offers a more unique graphical styling presented within a dark atmosphere
  • Side-view active-time battle system (ATB) reminiscent of the classic 16-bit RPGs
  • Optional quests and bonus dungeons
  • Critically-acclaimed soundtrack from independent artists such as Kevin Macleod, Chris Hurn, zero-project, and Sketchy Logic. Also featuring the track "Day to Fall", written and performed by Marielle Thomas.
  • Decisions you and your party make will affect later events and even whether townspeople live or die by your hand and much more!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: XP, Vista, 7, 8
    • Processor: Intel 1.6 Ghz or AMD 1.8 Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX Accelerated Video Card with 512 MB RAM and Shader Model 2 support
    • DirectX: Version 8.0
    • Storage: 600 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (59 reviews)
Recently Posted
palidin07
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 7
I'll update this soon. I just bought this game for $2. I love RPG Maker-like games and helps me get ideas for how people do different things with it. I'll let you know what I think of it. I'm also attracted to "Mixed" review games. There's plenty of super-big hit games like the call of duty franchise that I'd say with the exception to a couple of them, really suck, so by the intuitive logic therein, I like to look at games that people are Iffy about [could be a struggle of conscience/ cognitive dissonance, thus indicating some or much substance is there although misjudged], and kinda indie games in general, and see if maybe just the shallow consumerist culture hated/disliked/overlooked it because it didn't provide the 'bling bling' and substanceless socio-cultural big-adva [advertizement] indoctrination trigger points to jump it into stardom.

However, a lot of indie games suck too.
lol I'm just trying to justify that I liked the sound of 'dark', liked the pictures, and saw an rpg maker game that was cheap, and yea a little bit about that mixed review ♥♥♥♥ helped.

Plus if I ever get my own rpg maker games out there [probably will], it'd be awesome to collaberate with other devs of other games, on putting up eachother, maybe sharing resources, etc, and sharing fans too as a result lol. So yea, there's not many Steam RPG maker games, so im biased to want to support from the go.

Anyway next update will be about this actual game experience.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bodeia
( 86.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 31
Love this game I thought I'd completed it got the titles and all then I'm back in the game for an extended play absolutley brilliant

Easy story to follow and if you do a little grinding the monsters aren't to bad either.

Lots of replay value, I missed tons of side quest so guess what I'm off to play again yeah....

Edit:

four replays and finally got all achievements including Tanya YAY

Off to play episode 2 hope it's as good if not better
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Snake
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: January 18
Just your usual, terrible RPG Maker junk that is flooding Steam every other week.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
My Name is You
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: January 4
Having played through and beaten this game (non-Steam version) before the Rebirth update, I wanted to see what the changes were. What I found were more detailed in battle character sprites, new music tracks, smoother gameplay, better dialogue, and now I get to have achievements and trading cards with the Steam version. It's a solid RPG. With a great story, challenging bosses, good combat, really good music, and memorable characters (especially Xiria) you can't go wrong.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mongoloid Mike
( 12.6 hrs on record )
Posted: December 5, 2015
Nope
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mecha King Kong
( 47.3 hrs on record )
Posted: November 3, 2015
The developers tell me it's a limitation of RPGMaker but this game won't run properly on large monitors. It's fine at a lower resolution though, and a resolution screen pops up every time before the game launches, so it isn't a hassle. Still, be prepared to play in windowed mode for the entire game.

Perhaps this is another RPGMaker problem but there's no "objective" screen. At least, I can't find one. So if you miss what a character says (or forget) then you'll be looking for a guide or wandering aimlessly until you figure it out.

Aside from the technical difficulties, the game is good. Not as good as a professionally made RPG but still solid. The enemies lack variety, you'll see the same creatures over and over, a some of them spam annoying poison attacks, but at least you've got a healer in your party who can cure you for a small amount of MP.

You'll run into challenging monsters who are levelled just right so they're not unbeatable. Grinding feels effective but very tedious after a while.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
VideoGamer0
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: October 5, 2015
It's, uh...not good.

This is an RPG-Maker game, which is a bad sign. In the right hands, RPG-Maker is a powerful tool that can be used to make a low-budget game that's actually worth playing. This isn't one of them.

It does a few somewhat interesting things: random battles can be seen ahead of time, thanks to a handy bar at the top of the screen on the world map; the characters will talk breifly after a battle is over; and the story is completely unorthodox - but despite these few redeeming traits, it's clear the author of the game has no idea how to really /make/ a game.

Yeah, you can move around and do things and fight things, but from the get-go the main character is extremely unlikable and we're given no reason to care whether he lives or dies. The story is also bizarre; when the game first started up, I thought it was going to be a reversal of the typical RPG hero story - y'know, where you play as the good hero from humble beginnings and gain strength and beat the bad guys. I was actually kind of excited to play through an evil overlord's rise to power. Then the game time-skips past all of that to when the empire is already formed. ...And that's about where I stopped playing.

I could go on, but I don't think I have to. It's really, really not worth your time. I'm sorry, game creator, but brush up on basic storytelling before trying anything like this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
*Logan*
( 30.0 hrs on record )
Posted: October 4, 2015
I think I'm getting sick of RPG Maker games.
The outdated graphics, battle system, and overused stock items, characters avatars, etc. gets to be quite boring over time.
It's also worth nothing that the majority of RPG Maker games do NOT support Steam Overlay, so you can't even SEE the achievements you earn as you earn them, and you need to alt tab to see any messages. This is worth skipping games in the engine for that reason alone unless your not very social or don't care about Achievements, but I found this to be a negative.
I generally only play these games for the battle system, so I'm not really going to say much about the story, but the battle system is rather generic.
The problem I have with this game is that all you do in battles is use special moves and heal. As your team levels up, you will begin to do insane amounts of damage in the 1000s which means any weak attacks is a waste of time.
The flow of the game is basically going from one town/dungeon combo to another, fighting about three of the same enemies in boring dungeons using your most powerful specials, and buying ether to keep the MP up.
You will get a flock of similar characters (almost all female) to join you as you progress, but you will eventually find that only some of them are strong enough to invest your time in.
I did read a lot of the story, but I found it to be rather boring. The music and sound effects are nothing special either.
I never once considered this game to be fun, exciting, or creative.
There are better RPGs to play, using better more updated game engines. Don't waste your time or money here like I did.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
UndyingRevenant
( 38.4 hrs on record )
Posted: September 30, 2015
10/10 if only for Aspect. One of the most fun bosses I've seen in some time. Surprisingly fun and addicting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
94 of 116 people (81%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
19.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 8, 2015
*Note: This was written before the "Rebirth" update to the game that makes changes to the main story dialogue. I have not played it since this update, if I do, I will revise my review. For now, it will remain the same. This is a review of the game I paid for, played and that the devs were content with for almost six months.

TL,DR: Chronicles of a Dark Lord is an ineptly written game with somewhat tolerable combat. The story is cliche, the characters have no personality or diversity and the game's flow is extremely repetitive. The description promises a game that's dark, mature and complex, but what you get is juvenile, shallow and as dark as something like Naruto. Furthermore, even though the description promises that you'll get to make decisions that effect the game later that is not the case (aside from choosing whether or not to kill random NPCs).

-------------------------------------

First, I want to point out that one positive review on this page was written by someone affiliated with the developers. Looking at some comments on their Desura page, it seems like this is not uncommon for them. Even if I liked this game this would leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Fair warning, there are SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate is the kind of game that gives RPG Maker games a bad reputation. It is one of the worst written games I've ever played. If an RPG is poorly written, it fails. This goes double for RPG Maker games, because the graphics are pretty standard across the board (some will have nice character portraits, the portraits in this seem to be generated in RPG Maker) and the gameplay is very rote JRPG fare.

Before I get into why Chronicles of a Dark Lord is so bad, I will talk about the few things I did like. The random battle system is very nice. It's not really random. There's a meter that fills up as you walk and decreases if you stand still. If it fills up, you enter a battle. There's lots of object hidden around in the environment. My love of RPGs has trained me to check literally everything. In this game it pays off and I like that. Finally, about halfway-ish through the game I found a hidden sword and piece of armor that was so over-powered I breezed through a lot of the game. That definitely helped me keep going. Also, the song during the end credits is pretty good. Marielle Thomas did a great job with it.

So, onto the problems. First, and most importantly, the characters have no personality. Well, they kind of do, but everyone is either quiet and serious or kind of goofy. There is hardly any distinction between your party members. Half of them even look the same. If I was forced to describe any of them it would be extremely difficult. That's not good. The characters should be diverse and interesting.

The main character, Magus, is the worst of all. No personality. Towards the end of the game, some characters have a conversation about how he doesn't show emotion. Guess what? That's not interesting. He's just kind of there. Everything interesting about him happened in the prologue and the text crawl between that and the main game. There's supposedly a conflict between the evil path he started down and his decision to not be totally evil. . .WE NEVER SEE THAT.

Magus is supposed to be so dark. The only way the game really shows us that in the main game is that we are given the option to randomly kill some NPCs. That's the problem with the game in general: where's the darkness? This is supposed to be dark and mature, but it's not. The game tries too hard to also be funny and light for it to be dark. For instance, there's one part where you're in a cave and there's a rumble. Magus' wife says something like, "Either Magus is hungry or we better get moving!" The game doesn't have any of the edge it claims to have, but when you throw in lines like that, it's just goofy. Or, the conversation with a female NPC where the Dark Lord Magus says he'll come back later to pick her up so she can come visit his kingdom.

Here's a line that just blew my mind: "She is going to cut my breasts off or something if we do not get out of her garden." That's in the game. Or, how about this line which someone says before fighting one of the final bosses: "I am Sapphire Darkwell. . .and I hate cats. It's because of YOU I have to institute a law against cats in Senefarria!" That is some dramatic and dark writing.

The storyline is really cliche. First, you're traveling around trying to rally people to fight an invading evil. Then, it turns out that (spoiler alert) the bad guys have a hidden agenda. They're trying to summon something to destroy the world. The dumbest trope in the world. Why do they want to destroy the world? What do they gain?

The script is super repetitive. I'm willing to bet 10% of the game is characters introducing themselves or being introduced. Magus seems to know every character he meets, but I don't. We usually don't really learn who they are, but we're supposed to care about them or be invested in what's going on. One character is recruited, then a side quest immediately becomes available where someone is trying to lure them into a confrontation. I don't know who that enemy was and I didn't care about what was going on. The whole game in general is repetitive. The bulk of it is: go to castle, talk to rule, get permission to go to next world map screen, fight boss, go to castle. World map screens come in two varieties: Castle and town and bridge/cave/docks or castle and bridge/cave/docks.

Then, there's just weird stuff that makes me think the game was written by a 13-year-old boy. All your party members are female, except for Magus and someone you get at the end of the game. Why? There's no good reason. Also, three of your party members are women who Magus has had sex with. His ex-wife, his current wife and their lover. That's right, Magus has a wife and together they have a lover. Why? How did this happen? What is the attraction? What is the purpose from a writing perspective? It doesn't add anything. None of the three seem to actually be in love, they just call each other "my love." I guess for them to seem like they actually loved each other they would need personalities. Is it so we know how not gay Magus is? Is it so he seems cooler or more awesome? I'm not a prude. If the characters were more developed, if any of it served any purpose, it would be fine. It doesn't, though. There's also a city entirely populated by lesbians.

There's also just mind-blowingly crazy things. There's a character named Crysta Aier. Later, someone mentions "Krysta Aier." I thought, "Oh, a typo." Then, we recruit Krysta Aier and I thought, "Oh, I just remembered it wrong." Then, you re-recruit Crysta Aier and have both Aiers. Then, I didn't know what was going on. Finally, by chance, while checking a bookshelf, I found out that one of them is FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION. That's right. People's dopplegangers just pop in from other dimensions. Then, Magus remembers about the time that happened to him!

On top of the insanely inept writing, there are other issues. There's no mouse control and muting sounds doesn't completely work. Also, even though the description seems to promise that you'll get to make decisions that effect the game that is not true. The only decisions you get to make are whether or not to kill some random, nameless NPCs.

I know that this review is extremely long, but the game is so flawed in so many ways I had to get it out (if only for my own sanity).
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48 of 69 people (70%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
I am only 6 hours in, but definitely worth the 5 bucks I paid for it if not more. Not too far in but there are a few things that jumped out at me right away:

1. It's very much like Dragon Warrior 4, and it borrows concepts from Final Fantasy. They don't try to reinvent the wheel, which is a good thing, eg the thing that revives a dead ally is called a "phoenix feather," that which cures poison is an antidote. Simple and good.

2. tl;dr - You can avoid battles when you want to /tl;dr. The battle system is turned based, and each character's time bar fills up at a rate based on the character's agility. Time stops when a bar is full. Encounters are not random on the world map or in encounter zones. Instead, a "battle bar" fills up with each step you take. When the bar is full, there's a battle. If you stand still for a second or two, the bar will begin to empty until it is.

3. The characters and their abilities are good and balanced, and they don't contain fluff or spam.

4. They did a good job of taking the elements of classic rpgs that drive you nuts / are overdone / are unrealistic out, and instead put in refreshing updates to an older genre. I don't want to give out spoilers but the protagonist is a bad ♥♥♥, not some wet behind the ears kid who just had his mind blown learning that he's the savior of the world or some whiney teenager with "teen angst." Npcs for the most part don't have duplicate dialog, meaning every npc you talk to has something different to say. They've completely removed unnecessary hyper-morality that is common in old school rpgs. The story and dialogue are interesting but not overbearing. There are many, many more examples of times you will find yourself smiling just because they did something better than it's been done in the past.

5. Lesbians


I have only a few criticisms of the game at this point, and none of them are "bad."

1. Character sprites in battle are the same as they are on the map, while enemies' sprites in battle are elaborate. I would have made artfully elaborate battle sprites for each of the characters to give them more depth, personality, and make them more likeable over all.

2. There are two areas in the game so far where it seemed to be "laggy," which doesn't make sense because it's basically a super nintendo game. One area had "fog" which seems like it could almost make sense, but the other was in a castle i beleive.

3. If you turn off all three sound options (listening to music, at work, etc), there are two sounds during battle that are still heard. Issuing battle commands and critical strikes.



As you can tell from these "criticisms," there's nothing not to like about this game. Buy it.

I don't often write reviews, but this game only had two at the time of this writing, so i wanted to endorse a good game. I will update this review once I have more time in.
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31 of 46 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
26.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Overall, this game is decent. It's a typical "bad guy wants world domination" thing, and there aren't any big plot twists or surprises in the bland story. The characters are very different than what you'll find in a typical jrpg, but they lack any real depth. Your party members are all important people, monarchs, badasses, with you the greatest of them all, but you're never given any serious backstory on any of them, and the game only takes a shallow dive into their personalities. The game also seems to favor women a lot, with plenty of lesbians and only one male in your party, but that's fine.

So what makes the game worth playing? Well, the combat is solid. Characters' abilities are all useful, items are often essential, boss fights are common and tough, and occassional grinding is a must. If the dev could take this battle system and expand on the story and characters to lend more meaning and emotion to the fights, this game would be fantastic. Hopefully the sequels improve that way.

tl;dr: Usual story, different but shallow character types, solid combat. It stays entertaining enough to play to the end.
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28 of 49 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
I like the idea of playing as the bad guy. About two hours in so far and I like the story and the characters. Battle plays smoothly and is a simple turn based system. Looking forward to playing more of this and seeing new releases from these guys in the future.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
86.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 31
Love this game I thought I'd completed it got the titles and all then I'm back in the game for an extended play absolutley brilliant

Easy story to follow and if you do a little grinding the monsters aren't to bad either.

Lots of replay value, I missed tons of side quest so guess what I'm off to play again yeah....

Edit:

four replays and finally got all achievements including Tanya YAY

Off to play episode 2 hope it's as good if not better
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12 of 22 people (55%) found this review helpful
Recommended
19.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 28, 2015
Having finally completed it (the Final boss is nearly impossible), I can say this is actually a better than average RPG (even more so considdering it's price), At first I was pretty "meh" about it but about 5 hours in, the story really pick's up and builds to a climax rivaling that of old JRPG'S ala Final Fantasy's. (leaning more toward's 3,or 5)

The Music for this game is actually also really good (you will have the battle theme stuck in your head for week's) and so is the art direction and spell effect's

Combat is standard Turn based, with character's able to act once their "battle gauge" has filled up, but feels quick battle's never seem to drag.

Also a REALLY good plus for this game is the lack of Random Encounter's, instead you have a Battle Bar that fills while not in battle with every step you take but stopping cause's it to go down slowly basically allowing you to control wether you want to battle or not (you still need to of cause due to the boss fight's) and you WILL need to level up cause some of the boss fight's are utterly brutal, exploiting your weaknesses and barrageing your party with high damage attack's, basically get used to ressurect and look after your Healer, she WILL save your life many time's.

Character's are a step above generic RPG protagonist's ( Your family and Wife can fight with you) rather than the normal boring cliche's "Silent Main Hero" "Love Interest who get's kidnapped" etc, they feel like they have their own personalities without feeling like cliche.


p.s you can also blow up Teddy Bear's... cause sure why the hell not :)

Update: The Rebirth Update is actually quite a good enhancement to the game, adding better looking battle sprites, spell effect's, Resolution option's and I think although I might be wrong, new music as well, also the performance of the game is now silky smooth when before it was quite choppy if you chose to play fullscreen.

With the Steam summer sale on, and this game at the moment being £1 by all means get it :)
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15 of 28 people (54%) found this review helpful
Recommended
53.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 12, 2015
Now that the Rebirth update is released, I have no major compaints about this game! Some might be turned off by the broody, almost gothy mood of the characters and story, or by the perhaps inconsistent graphics and fonts, but really, the gameplay is tight, and the writing (with said update) is delightful. It's fairly linear besides the occasional little sidequest, which is fine. For five dollars (or a buck and a quarter during the Summer sale), it's a great deal for those who love oldschool JRPGs!
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8 of 15 people (53%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
Having played through and beaten this game (non-Steam version) before the Rebirth update, I wanted to see what the changes were. What I found were more detailed in battle character sprites, new music tracks, smoother gameplay, better dialogue, and now I get to have achievements and trading cards with the Steam version. It's a solid RPG. With a great story, challenging bosses, good combat, really good music, and memorable characters (especially Xiria) you can't go wrong.
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6 of 12 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
47.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2015
The developers tell me it's a limitation of RPGMaker but this game won't run properly on large monitors. It's fine at a lower resolution though, and a resolution screen pops up every time before the game launches, so it isn't a hassle. Still, be prepared to play in windowed mode for the entire game.

Perhaps this is another RPGMaker problem but there's no "objective" screen. At least, I can't find one. So if you miss what a character says (or forget) then you'll be looking for a guide or wandering aimlessly until you figure it out.

Aside from the technical difficulties, the game is good. Not as good as a professionally made RPG but still solid. The enemies lack variety, you'll see the same creatures over and over, a some of them spam annoying poison attacks, but at least you've got a healer in your party who can cure you for a small amount of MP.

You'll run into challenging monsters who are levelled just right so they're not unbeatable. Grinding feels effective but very tedious after a while.
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5 of 10 people (50%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
36.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 17, 2015
I am QUITE dissapointed that this is a mixed game (with more negative reviews)...

Most humorous RPG I've ever played! And now for one of my favorite quotes! =D (Which means spoilers)

Xiria: "Look, the way your going, you'll end up that that b!tch sister of yours, Moriena"
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