Brilliant Shadows is a visual novel that follows the story of Veronica Ashmar, a new graduate of the Mountain and a necromancer. Tradition dictates that upon graduation, necromancers and paladins are to perform the pairing ritual.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (126 reviews) - 96% of the 126 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 30, 2015

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Recent updates View all (8)

March 31

3/31/2016 - Sprite optimization

Optimized a few sprites that were constantly being displayed at 7% zoom to help with android build.
Tweaked a few images.
Added temporary link to kickstarter for part two.
Fixed a few typos.

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March 25

Pale Spectrum - Part Two of the Book of Gray Magic - Demo/Kickstarter!

Pale Spectrum is now live on Kickstarter!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ithaqualabs/pale-spectrum

You can also play the fully voiced demo for free here:
https://ithaqualabs.itch.io/palespecdemo

More updates coming soon!

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About This Game

Brilliant Shadows is a visual novel that follows the story of Veronica Ashmar, a new graduate of the Mountain and a necromancer. Tradition dictates that upon graduation, necromancers and paladins are to perform the pairing ritual. Binding together one of each type of mage, entwining their lives and powers with another and sealing their fates together with a matching mark upon their primary hands.

Those that succeed and become paired go on as full mages, those that do not are considered nothing more than hedge mages. There are no exceptions and the ritual has never failed…

Until the day Ash receives a mark and no fellow graduate to match it.

Now she must discover the origin of her mark and attempt to solve the greatest magical mystery that the Mountain has ever known.



Brilliant Shadows – Part 1 of the Book of Gray Magic is 57,023 words long, estimated at 3-6 hours of game play depending on read speed.

There are 3 different endings depending on your choices, as well as a few larger branch options within the story.

Plus, the main character is a lesbian necromancer who specializes in undead plants!

All spoken lines are fully voice acted, and the game features an extensive original soundtrack with 25 awesome songs.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 10
    • Processor: 1.5Ghz Processor or better
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics Chip
    • Storage: 400 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 10
    • Processor: Pentium 4 or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics Chip
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 / 10.7 / 10.8
    • Processor: 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or better
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics Chip
    • Storage: 400 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6 / 10.7 / 10.8
    • Processor: 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Integrated Graphics Chip
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (126 reviews)
Recently Posted
tmtapani
4.0 hrs
Posted: August 4
Wow. This one was unexpectedly good.

Decided to just test it out a bit before going to bed and ended up playing through the night. I especially liked the voice acting, and it's probably the best one I've come across in visual novels of this price range. A solid 4 hour trip for one of apparently three endings if you let the voice acting play out. And you should.
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Spookylicious
7.5 hrs
Posted: July 23
Bare in mind I'm not really much into visual novels. But if one catches my eye because the design and story I may give it a chance. And I wasn't wrong at all.
I just finished it for the first time and got the first ending. Played it 7 hours straight and now my eyes are on fire, but the crying while playing helped to hidrate them.

Now in a more serious manner. I loved the characters, really well done, some more likeable than others (maybe some people will like the ones I didn't like and hate the ones I did like), the story had me hooked, all the magic, balance, pairing stuff. It was like a methaphor about human relationships And the suspens made me wanting to know more.

The twists got me good, I had some moments flipping stuff from my desk (I have a messy artsy desk don't judge).
The jokes were funny, the blooper reel was a really nice touch.

So... yeah, I REALLY DO recomment this game. And I'm waiting for the 2nd book!!
I'm really happy to been able to get the good ending first since it leaved me with a great sensation.
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c_music_
4.6 hrs
Posted: July 19
The story felt a like it was a little bit weak. There was too much time spent pining and it got very annoying quickly. some characters were a bit hard to like and made parts of the game a chore to get through. The art style is beautiful the animation could use a bit of work. I would not play this game again.
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Helena
11.7 hrs
Posted: July 4
I really enjoyed this first part! The story is quite interesting, the characters are likable (Hektor is my favorite), art style was really awesome, and the VA was great. I got the 3 endings (and the third one was so creepy haha) and enjoyed them. I’m looking forward to play the second part! Good luck to the developers.

9/10.
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Elly Rip van Winkle
2.2 hrs
Posted: June 30
OKAY SO! I completed the good path, don't care for the neutral, and my friend completed the evil path because she's a toot and I can tell you a LOT about this visual novel.

First off, it's more like a book, less like a visual novel as visual novels tend to have 3-6 endings deciding whats your waifu, this is not one of those visual novels. In fact, if you hate visual novels but love books, pick this up. It's basically a book because the writing is REALLY well done.

I'm going to stop rambling and make more readable explanation off the bat. I hate, HATE visual novels. They are disgusting anime waifu trash that pits a male protagonist in a room with ten half-naked cutsie girls of various personalities and animal ears... or tanks... or ships. Whatever floats their boat I guess. However, this is not one of those stories. Your character first off, is a woman, and though she has a heavy romantic interest with a character, it is just one specific character and not the waifu tray to choose from.

In fact, that's what makes this story so great. The romance COMPLIMENTS the story, where as most visual novels, the story compliments the romance... or is just kinda shoveled on... looking at you Bird simulator dating... crap.

See, it sparks a tension in the pages you read through. Deliciously juicy drama but no clear indication of 'will you get the girl or not', in fact, there is this dreadening atmosphere as you FEEL the character's hopes and dreams scatter multiple times but she picks herself up time and time again. It's a really good heartening experience.

Now let me explain the characters role.
Main character: An interesting and dynamic character. She FEELS so real, and her attitude can change from spiteful and depressed to straight up malicious depending on your choices. I have felt her concerns myself in the dating gig so I know how it is.
Love interest: A character where drama revolves around but she isn't the driving force behind the plot (not directly anyways). She brings the main character's tension along and is a point of interest, but isn't a mary sue princess that needs saving.
The 'will he betray us' guy: Okay, sometimes you see a 'plot twist' coming from a mile away. Sometimes you think 'no it's building up to reveal he was the good guy all along. It isn't obvious in this one, it just isn't. Sometimes I'm like OH YEAH HES SO GOOD, and other times I'm like HOLY ♥♥♥♥ STAB HIM HES SO EVIL! But I didn't know, I never did until the end segment. I'm not going to spoil whether he is a good guy a bad guy.
The tag along characters: Well, these two people are basically extra spicing to flesh things out. They fufill their role... they flesh things out, they add more dynamics but they are indeed, tag along. Don't expect too much from them as they are a basic package. NOthing too interesting but they add more perspective. All in all well done characters if, a bit dissapointing.

I'd describe more characters but I feel that it may be too spoilery so let's just say this. Some characters will be completely meaningless and useless, while others will actually have a lot more involved with the plot than you would first think. So just play it safe and pay attention to all characters :3

Now, the story itself. The plot is very interesting. Once more, I won't describe in detail what it is but I will say the beginning is WAY Too slow and the ending is WAY too abrupt. That's my only complaint, your first hour will be spent reading the beginning while the next will be speeding by the middle and the end as the plot snowballs down. The story and even the world itself however, is very facinating and this DOES excuse the speed and pacing. The beginning had to EXPLAIN the world, show you how it is. And it doesn't do it in a stupid ♥♥♥ naruto way, no... it expects the reader to be actually intelligent and piece things together with solid information. So that perhaps may be why the beginning is so slow and the ending feel so sudden and fast paced.

TL;DR?

Story 8/10
Pacing 7/10
Romance 9/10
Characters 10/10
World 10/10

IGN 7.8/10. Too much water
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Kimchi Tea
3.4 hrs
Posted: June 4
Made me realize how much I underappreciated voice acting in visual novels. It's very well done and really helps the characters come alive. The art is great, sort of Burtonesque instead of the typical anime style, and even the most minor side characters have unique sprites. The UI is a little awkward (I consistently had trouble finding the hotspot for save slots), but the text is large and easily readable.

The story feels very much like an introduction to a series. Most of the plot is focused on developing a small part of the setting, and then an epilogue abruptly shows a window into a larger world. It's also very linear; choices can give you evil points (too many and you get the bad end) and sometimes branch off into an extra scene, but the overall plot stays on the same path, and the good/neutral endings are very similar in both content and tone. Linearity isn't necessarily a weakness, especially since it leaves a clear starting point for the sequel, but saying there's three endings is kind of misleading.

That's a minor complaint, though. Overall, Brilliant Shadows is one of the best English visual novels I've played, It has a unique setting and compelling characters, and the writing, art, music, and voice acting all come together in a harmonious, beautiful experience. Highly recommended.
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Pimpachuu
4.8 hrs
Posted: May 20
Product received for free
This was my first ever visual novel game, and boy did it hook me. The characters were very well and realistically written, each with their own style. Did the game not have voices, I would likely have been able to tell who was saying what based on how things were written. The art was beautiful, the acting was great, the music was superb, and the story was captivating.

The only issue I had was the music level being much higher than the voice level. It made it impossible to hear what characters were saying when a score reached its crescendo. But, the subtitles alleviated any real issue! :) Can't wait for the next game!
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paradasia
2.3 hrs
Posted: April 16
As a big fan of story based games and visual novels, I loved this game.
- The artwork was rich and detailed
- Fully and dramatically voice acted
- The storyline was fascinating and full of drama, plot twists, suspense, and some moments that made me laugh out loud
- Interesting, diverse cast of characters
Hope others enjoy it as much as I did!
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AwesomeDragons
6.5 hrs
Posted: April 16
This game is amazing, with awesome voice-acting and beutiful art. The story and world are interesing and the characters are strong and well paced.
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malihandra
0.3 hrs
Posted: April 14
I thoroughly enjoyed this game! I wish there were more choices/options, but even so, it was still fun and an interesting read . :)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
67 of 71 people (94%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2015
I'm gushing about this game. I just found it yesterday through Dodger on YT and had to rush to buy it. The diverse races and sexual orientations for its characters set this apart from a lot of other games. Ash, Prude, and the gang all feel very real and the voice acting cast is really good too. I'm finding myself craving another chapter and look forward to supporting this game in the future.
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33 of 34 people (97%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2015
I really really enjoy the story of Brilliant Shadows. Great art work, very good story telling well worth the price there asking for it. Even has a blooper reel at the end after the credits. The only down side I can think of it's only part one. At the end they leave you wanting more. Seen 2 of the endings so far very different from one and another which is really great. Would highly reccomend it to give it a try
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2015
Very nice game, 10/10

everything was done just right, and the story and art is something new thus very entertaining. You can easily empathize with the characters which are very diversified personalities.

The price and the tag "part 1" could confuse it with an episodic game, but it is a complete story arc. Think of it like book 1. It's length of 6 hourse is quiet entertaining and compared to other products the price could even be higher.

Only thing i hope for part 2 is that we can influence romance options and who you end with.
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14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
So I watched Dodger play this and enjoyed it enough that I had to buy it just to support the Devs. I also wanted to see the other endings and I was not dissapointed. Ending 2: Finding a Balance was even better than the first ending. I hope they use that one going into part two.
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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2015
This VN exceeded my expectations! From watching the trailer I wasn't sure whether the story would be entertaining, and I had some reservations about the voice acting. However the voice acting is actually very good, and the story was very satisfying. Additionally I normally find the music in VNs to be annoying and turn it off, but the music in this VN definitely added to the experience.

If you think this game might be good but aren't certain based on the trailer, I'd definitely recommend you take the chance!
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2015
I've been a fan of Ithaqua Labs for a while now and this new release has certainly lived up to my expectations.

Beautiful art, fully voice acted, outstanding world building. Polished up to a much higher standard than your usual visual novel, in my experience. All the characters are loveable, the story is robust, the soundtrack is epic. I got very emotional over this game, it's very earnest and real.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2015
Tl;dr: This game is fantastic.

Authentic dialogue, great voice acting, unique and diverse characters, wonderful music, engaging plot. The world draws from some classic tropes and mixes them together in a lovely blend. And yet, despite how unique the setting is, exposition never bogs down the dialogue. The writing explains things naturally, without feeling rushed or full of itself. With the exception of a few moments, every plot twist or character motivation makes sense.

Brilliant Shadows is marked as book one. I worried this would mean a cliffhanger ending, but that’s not the case. The ending leaves you wanting more without feeling cheap, just like the first book in a great fantasy novel trilogy should.

Even if you’re not a huge visual novel fan (I’m certainly not), pick this up.

Oh, and the blooper real at the end is amazing. Seriously. Stick around and watch it. You’re welcome.
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17 of 23 people (74%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2015
I'm too lazy to review it thoroughly, so I'll just say, that I will definitely support this developer.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2015
Refreshing, unique, and captivating.

A little background about myself - I'm not a big visual novel 'buff', the most experience I have in such games would be the Phoenix Wright games on handheld, but after watching a youtube video of the game, I was immediately drawn to the story presented, and after doing a little bit more research, promptly purchased the title and completed my own playthrough several times to get the different endings, and little changes in plot based on choices.

Given that I've just explained I'm not big into visual novels as a gamer, I still enjoy a good story, and this title definitely has a good story. Presenting a very different world from the norm in most media, with Necromancy not necessarily being evil but instead another school of magic that's balanced out by Light magic, the game does a good job presenting the basic principles of the world at a good pace, and the player also gets the opportunity to learn more about the world if the right choices are made.

I learned that the voice acting in the game (FULLY voice acted) was actually a stretch goal of it's kickstarter, and I have to say it helped breath life to the characters, and it was quite refreshing to hear new and different talent in an industry that sometimes feels only a handful of voice actors are always given work. (I hear voice actors like Jennifer Hale and Steve Blum across a LOT of titles, across different mediums, and while definitely great voice actors, it's once again so refreshing hearing new talent). While the writing can also stand on it's own, the acting definitely helps you understand what kind of personality each character exhibits, and makes them that much more memorable. From the character designs to the backgrounds, the artstyle is also beautiful to look at, and speaks of the artist's talent in presenting this world and the people who live in it.

There are some games, or even TV shows, that you can play or watch for a while, and then you need to take care of something else. Then there are others that grab your attention so much that you forget where the time went, or you're compelled to finish in one sitting. This is one of those games. I finished my first playthrough until the wee hours in the morning (totally worth it xD). I'm so glad this is part one, as I cannot wait to see what else this indie dev will bring out next in the story.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2015
I am not a man that has played much in the way of visual novels. I think I may have played a grand total of 1. That being said I have read many a book and have a craving for good solid story.

From the very start of this one, we see a well done style that looks like a painter has just left the easel to dry and it catches the eye. I even praise the colors used that really draw the eyes and help make the characters simply LOOK unforgettable.

The story setting has enough of it's own lore that I want more, and not even just from the main characters. There were several smaller mentions of things that I would love to see explored in other ways, even as small as a short story or something of that nature.

The main character goes through a few points where it is difficult to like her, however, during these points her actions and mannerisms really sell what she is going through and seemed like very human responses. Being honest I think I only felt that way due to her being upset with a character I found very charming!

The relationships felt real and there were a few times I expected the story to focus on some of the negative emotions of a character for longer than needed and I was pleasantly surprised that the development felt organic.

The ending leaves alot of questions, but its very clear (the title..I mean..) that this is but one part and that we can expect to see more. It doesn't leave on a cliffhanger so much as a hope for the future of the characters.

If you like visual novels, I gotta say to give this one a try, worth your time and money. Looking forward to part two!
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