After years of waiting, indie studio Dicesuki Games released the follow up to their popular visual novel, Cinderella Phenomenon. Cinderella Phenomenon: Evermore serves as an epilogue to the first game, giving players a peek into the lives of Lucette and the rest of the Marchen crew two years after their happily ever after. But, what comes after Happily Ever After?
Real life doesn’t just end with ‘Happily Ever After’ and now that the Lucette has broken her curse and saved the kingdom of Angielle, the real work begins. Follow Lucette as she navigates the complexities of love and life—from learning to control her newly awakened powers to training to become the next Queen of Angielle, there is some much more in store for the former Ice Princess.
♦ Game Details ♦
Contains spoilers for the first game Cinderella Phenomenon, so if you haven’t played the first game, you might want to do that before reading this review.
Each route picks up two years after the Good Endings of the first game and follow Lucette and her chosen love interest after their Happily Ever After. Because the events of each route played out differently in Cinderella Phenomenon some of the details will differ between routes in Evermore. Characters that are alive in one route may not be in other routes and character’s roles may be slightly different. You must play Cinderella Phenomenon to understand what’s going on in Evermore.
Each route consists of six chapters, each with two endings (Good and Best). There really is no play order, all the routes are available at the start of the game. But, if you’re looking to build up to some of the heavier storylines, I recommend going with Rod → Chevalier → Karma → Fritz → Waltz. While there are some details that are similar between routes, each story focuses on a different conflict specific to Lucette and her chosen love interest.
Rod is Lucette’s younger step-brother who was afflicted by the Little Mermaid fairytale curse. He traded his voice to become a prince so that his childhood friend would fall in love with him. Like in the original fairytale, if Rod fails to win the heart of his love, then he is destined to die. It’s been 2 years since the events of the first game, Rod and Lucette were able to break their curses and the kingdom of Angielle is at peace. Even though Rod and Lucette are now a couple they are unable to make their relationship public for fear that the people of Angielle won’t accept their love since they’re technically step-siblings. To avoid a scandal, Rod makes a magical wish and renounces his title as prince of Angielle so he can freely court Lucette as a commoner. He takes a position in the kingdom of Brugantia as their royal dance instructor in order to make a name for himself and eventually earn the right to stay by her side. But the distance puts a strain on their relationship and the pair must work through their issues if they’re going to earn their happily ever after.
Rod’s route focused more on Lucette and Rod’s relationship and the issues they face as a couple so it’s a much more relaxed story than the more action heavy first game. Both Lucette and Rod have become much more open with their feelings in the two years since Cinderella Phenomenon and it was nice to see two of the most reserved characters in the series being cute and lovey-dovey with one another. But, both still have deep seeded insecurities—Rod in particular feels unworthy of being with Lucette and spends the majority of the route secretly training to become a better man for her sake. He becomes secretive and distant, which leads to more than a few misunderstandings between them. Relationships take work and I liked that this route focused on Lucette and Rod talking through their problems and even actively seeking help from friends and family about their relationship. Of all the love interests, Rod was the one that was most like Lucette—they’re both incredibly stubborn and opinionated and I was glad to see that Evermore kept their witty banter and teasing, especially when it results in Rod blushing!
Chevaliar is a doctor working in Angielle who was afflicted with the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale cures. He traded three items to a witch doctor to help save three of his patients–the last item he traded was his memories. After breaking his Fairytale Curse and regaining his memories, Chevalier accepted a position as the Royal Physician and now lives in the palace with Lucette. In recent weeks Lucette has been plagued by Tenebrarum induced nightmares that have only gotten worse since Sinna, the Lucis Bearer has arrived in Angielle. While the previous route focused on Lucette’s relationship with Rod, this route focused more on Lucette building a relationship with Sinna, the new Lucis bearer. After the death of Parfait, her cousin Sinna took over her role as the Lucis bearer, and unlike his cousin, he seems reluctant to work with Lucette on maintaining the balance between the two crystals–which causes issues for Lucette.
Chevalier takes on a much more supportive role in the story, encouraging Lucette to reach out to Sinna; he is her confidant and I like that Chev is a person that she can turn to when things get tough for her. Of course, his flowery words and flirty demeanor can be a bit much at times, but his feelings for Lucette are genuine. You really get the sense that he loves her and wants the best for her and I really enjoyed all the little sweet things he does for her in the route—like when he commissions a local café to make pastries named after her.
Because Chevalier isn’t royalty, he does have to contend with judgmental nobles who don’t believe he is a suitable partner for Lucette (his age doesn’t do him any favors either), and while he usually brushes aside negative comments from others, he really does take their sentiments to heart. But, Lucette is always there to reassure him of her feelings and her choice to be with him. Chevalier isn’t my favorite of the LIs in this game (I’m not a fan of flirty types at the best of times), BUT, I do like that despite being complete opposites, Lucette and Chevalier make their relationship work by being honest and open with one another. There aren’t any of the silly misunderstandings you see in most romance media, because Lucette and Chevalier actually talk through their problems and work together to solve them. There’s a mutual trust and understanding between them that makes them one of my favorite couples in the series.
Klaude is the flamboyant crown prince of the kingdom of Brugantia. In the first game, he is afflicted by the Beauty and the Beast fairytale curse, which causes any woman that sees his face to fall madly in love with him. To avoid this, Klaude dresses as a beautiful woman named Karma. However, there is a second level to his curse–if Klaude ever falls in love with someone he will transform into a monstrous beast. After breaking his curse, Klaude and Lucette are engaged and living happily in Angielle. Because Lucette’s role as the Tenebrarum bearer prevents her from leaving the kingdom, Klaude has abdicated his claim to the Brugantia throne to his younger brother Lance. Klaude is a bit on the flamboyant side, showering Lucette with lavish gifts and praise, though he can sometimes go a bit overboard–he once hired a choir to sing outside of Lucette’s bedroom window. When he isn’t spoiling his fiance, both Klaude and Lucette spend their days planning for their upcoming wedding and training to take over as rulers of Angielle.
In the route Klaude and Lucette’s relationship takes a bit of a backseat to the relationship between Klaude and his younger brother Lance. Outwardly, Klaude seems to be thriving in Angielle, but deep down he still feels guilty about abandoning his responsibilities in Brugantia. Things come to a head when his younger brother Lance arrives in Angielle and he is forced to confront his insecurities head on. Klaude is usually pretty easy going, so it was nice to get to see more of his serious side this time around, especially through his interactions with his brother.
Fritz is Lucette’s kindhearted and loyal personal knight. He knows Lucette better than anyone else and in the first game he harbors a one-sided love for her that is later reciprocated. He is the only person to not know that he is afflicted by a Fairytale Curse, as he is secretly cursed by the King’s royal advisor to assist him with carrying out his nefarious plans. Fritz is afflicted by the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale curse which causes his personality split giving life to Varg, his “evil” alter ego. Taking a page out of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Fritz’s dominant personality and his much less inhibited alter ego are always at odds with one another.
His route in the first game ended on a bit of a bittersweet note–Fritz is able to break his fairytale curse and successfully overpowers his “evil” alter ego Varg, but Delora, Parfait, and Garland all die during the confrontation with Hildyr. In her final moments, Parfait destroys the Lucis and Tenebrarum, completely removing magic from the world. Two years have passed since then and Angielle is still recovering from the damage Hildyr caused—witches are still being persecuted against and now that magic is gone, many are finding it difficult to make a living. Lucette is doing her best to bridge the gap between humans and witches in Angielle, but the witches resent her for her involvement in removing their magic. Fritz isn’t having an easy go of it either, most of the kingdom still distrusts him because of the actions of his alter ego Varg and it is because of this that he steps down from his position as commander of the Order of Cladria.
This route explores Lucette and Fritz’s shared trauma after the events of the first game, both have a lot of baggage going into Evermore and I like that this route shows that not everything was tied up in a nice neat bow. Lucette had a hand in her mother’s death and the removal of magic in the world, while Fritz was a pawn in his father’s and Hildyr’s evil plans. Both have to come to terms with their actions and learn to move on from their pasts so they can live their lives on their own terms. Fritz especially has a hard time because he has spent his life working to live up to his father’s expectations and now that he’s gone he is free to choose his own path. Their happily ever after takes real work and its through their efforts that they’re able to forge a new future not just for themselves, but all of Angielle.
Waltz is a free spirited and kind hearted witch who makes a living for himself as a street performer, putting on magic shows for the townspeople in the main plaza. In the first game, he was afflicted with the Neverland fairytale curse, which causes him to take on the appearance of a child. It is revealed that he was once a student of Lucette’s mother Hildyr. Because of this he is quite proficient in using magic and offers to help train Lucette to control her newly awakened powers. After the events of the first game, both he and Lucette break their respective curses and overthrow Hildyr, but Lucette’s father is killed in the process. With the king gone, Lucette is crowned Queen of Angielle, but her rule is plagued by the after affects of the first game–witches corrupted by the Tenebrarum are wreaking havoc in the kingdom and she is at a loss as to how to deal with the problem. She is weighed down by her responsibilities as queen and feels that she isn’t capable of ruling the kingdom the way her father did. Adding to her woes, the negative sentiments of the people are fueling the Tenebrarum and Lucette as its bearer is plagued by horrible nightmares.
Both Waltz and Lucette were the hardest hit by the events of the last game and even now, two years later, they’re still trying to come to terms with everything they endured at the hands of Hildyr. Their shared trauma is what binds them together, and I love that this route explores just explores that past in great detail. It’s one of the more emotional storylines, and rather than being something that creates conflict in Lucette and Waltz’s relationship it’s something that makes them both stronger. I love the soft quiet moments between them because you really get the sense that they can be vulnerable with each other in ways they can’t be with others, which makes their eventual happily ever after feel more earned.
Lucette has grown considerably since the events of the first game! She is no longer the feared Ice Princess, becoming a much kinder and compassionate person in the two year timeskip. She has come into her role as the new Tenebrarum Bearer by helping to cure those afflicted with the dreaded Fairytale Curses. She is also undergoing training with Delora and Waltz to help control her newly awakened witch powers. As the Tenebrarum Bearer, Lucette is prone to nightmares due to the negative energy stored in the crystal—in some routes this is more plays a much bigger role in the store than others.
I remember hating Lucette at the start of the first game, but now she is one of my favorite heroine characters. She’s still the sass queen she was in the first game, but her edges have been softened considerably. Lucette is much more invested in the people of Angielle and makes every effort to get to know them and prove to them that she has their best interests at heart. She is actively engaged in bridging the gap between humans and witches and is very outspoken against hostilities between both groups. While this is a romance game and her relationship with the guys are at the forefront, I really like that the writers also explore her platonic relationships with her friends and family. In the first game, Lucette had closed herself off to everyone, especially her family and it’s nice to see that over the years she was able to form a genuine bond with them. She and Emelaigne have a wholesome sisterly bond where they hang out and confide in each other about their problems. Her relationship with her father is also much improved and I like that they are working to rebuild their father/daughter relationship.
This Lucette is older and wiser, but she isn’t perfect and she doesn’t try to be. Rather, she faces every obstacle head on and just does her best.
I absolutely loved Cinderella Phenomenon, its a wonderful twist on the fairytales we all know and love and the characters are *chefs kiss* But, its a story that works within a specific context—the characters are afflicted by a Fairytale Curse that cause their lives to come to a standstill, prompting them to do a “thing” that will break their curse and let them go back to their normal lives. The entire plot of the first game revolves around the Fairytale Curses and how the main cast removes their respective curses. Sure, there are other things going on, like maintaining the balance of magic; the conflict between witches, fairies, and humans in Angielle; and Lucette learning how to be a “good person”. BUT, even those can be traced back to the Fairytale Curses. Everything we learn about the characters and their motivations all fit within the context of their curses and while Cinderella Phenomenon is a fantastic character driven story, we are always reminded that the main goal they all strive towards is breaking their curses. But, in Evermore, the Fairytale Curses are gone and the macro level conflicts have either been resolved or removed altogether, which gives us the chance to see these characters breakout of the restrictive framework of the original game.
Cinderella Phenomenon: Evermore focuses on the aftermath of the events of the first game. When we meet the characters again its two years later, their much older and wiser and many are still working to get their lives back in order. Evermore gives us a chance to really explore who Lucette and the rest of the Marchen crew are without the looming specter of the Fairytale Curses. Their isn’t a big bad that needs to be defeated, so the conflicts are much more grounded in reality, focusing more on how the main cast navigate their new normal.
Some characters like Fritz and Waltz are still working through past trauma, while characters like Lucette, Rod, and Karma are learning how to navigate new roles. I really enjoyed this much more relaxed storytelling because it really gives you a more intimate look at the characters and their lives that otherwise would have been lost in a more “plot heavy” story. Details like Klaude’s younger brother Lance had no place in the first game, but in Evermore, Klaude’s relationship with his brother takes center stage. It’s a small thing, but it adds a new dimension to the characters that really pushes this story more weight. Of course, there are still a lot of loose ends carried over from the first game, a few characters died at the end of Cinderella Phenomenon, and I really appreciate that the writers don’t just gloss over that. We see the characters dealing with the loss of these characters in a way that feels so real.
I love the way the way that Evermore deals with the relationship between Lucette and her chosen LI. They’ve beaten the odds and are now well into their “Happily Ever After” but it’s nothing like it is in the fairytales—relationships take hard work and I love that we get to see Lucette and her lover putting in the effort to make their relationship work. Because the story isn’t bogged down by petty squabbles and unnecessary drama, you really get to see how Lucette and her chosen lover interact with each other as a couple. The writers are striving to tell a much more realistic love story and it’s less of a rose-colored romance than you’d see in a game like this, rather Evermore explores how Lucette and her lover come together to support each other through the ups and downs of their respective lives. There are definitely plenty of sugary sweet moments for folks looking for their romance fix, though like the first game, Evermore keeps things pretty PG. Though there are some nice kiss CGs~
The art in the first game was really good and it is nice to see that carried over in Evermore. Kooriiko’s style lends itself well to the fairytale themes of the game and it was nice to see the return of the storybook illustrations during the game’s intro. There are some subtle differences to the character sprites between the first game and this one, which was a nice touch given the two year timeskip. The CGs are good, buuuut, there were still some that felt a bit awkward *cough* Chevalier’s last CG *cough*—that aside, Cinderella Phenomenon is definitely one of the more high end indie otome games. I also want to note the animated opening is gorgeous and the UI while not as pretty as the stained glass design of the first game is still nice. I did also like that there were cute animations for some of the sprites—like the mischievous glint to Chevalier’s glasses or Klaude’s bishie sparkles.
Overall, I really enjoyed Cinderella Phenomenon: Evermore, and if you’re a fan of the original game I highly recommend giving this game a play. It’s a fitting continuation of the story and it offers a rare look into the lives of characters after they achieve their happily ever after. While the stakes are much more grounded in the everyday conflicts Lucette and the Marchen crew face in their lives, Cinderella Phenomenon: Evermore still manages to tell a compelling and emotional story that is well worth the price of admission.
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