Hey Blerdy Tribe, if you’ve been with me for awhile, you know how much I love my indie games. Well, indie otome dev, RoseVerte Games just released the first game in the Story of Eroolia series, How To Take Off Your Mask for the Nintendo Switch. How To Take Off Your Mask was originally released in 2015 for PC and this new remastered version is being published by Ratalaika Games and features updated artwork and graphics as well as improved dialogue. The game is available in Japanese, French, German, Russian, English, Spanish.
What is the truth beneath the masks?
Lilia is just an ordinary girl who works in a bakery. She spends every day happily with her childhood friend, Ronan. One day Lilia finds her body has shrunk. Moreover, she has grown cat ears and a tail?! She panics, jumps out through her room’s window, and runs towards the town. And the first person she bumps into is the city guard, Ronan.
One day you discover the other side of your partner you had never known. What is the truth beneath the masks? Each of them has secrets. The mask of “Big Sis” and “Luccretia Girl” she wears. The mask of “Lil Bro” and “City Guard” he wears. Which one of them will be taken off first?
♦ Game Details ♦
The Eroolia series takes place on the island nation of Eroolia, a place where humans and cat people named, Lucretia live. In the past there has been some tension between humans and Luccretias, and there are many in Eroolia who would prefer if the Luccretia kept out of the capital city, Leezera. Most Eroolians are openly hostile towards Luccretia, and bands of humans have even taken to hunting down and removing Luccretia living in the city.
Most Luccretia stick to their own kind, but some are able transform into a human form to blend in with regular humans. When Luccretia transforms not only do they take on the appearance of a normal human, but their personalities also change as well. The new personality is more a representation of the person they wish they could be. So a Luccretia who is usually more timid would become much more confident and self assured in their human form.
How To Take Off Your Mask is set in the Eroolia’s capital city, Leezera and follows Lilia, a young woman working in her grandmother’s bakery alongside her klutzy childhood friend Ronan. Despite her parents abandoning her at a young age, Lilia has had a pretty normal and happy life thanks to Ronan and her grandmother. But, everything changes when one morning she suddenly wakes up to find that she has transformed into a young Luccretia girl. This posses a serious problem for Lilia, as Luccretia are being rounded up and exiled by group of citizens known as the Exile Luccretias Movement (ELM).
Things get even more complicated for Lilia when while out in her Luccretia form, she bumps into Ronan and discovers that he has been living a secret double life. Her sweet and awkward childhood friend is actually a member of the city guard and much more capable than he normally lets on. Not knowing who she is, Ronan decides to adopt her and she takes on the identity of Leea. Shenanigans ensue as both Ronan and Lilia must contend with their feelings for one another, while also keeping their secret identities hidden. Meanwhile, tensions between humans and Luccretia in Leezera are at an all time high… Lilia eventually learns to control her transformations in the cutest way imaginable. Midway through the game you can choose whether you’d like to continue the story in Lilia’s Human form or her Luccretia form and both paths offer interesting narrative possibilities–though in her Luccretia form, Lilia looks pretty young so that can be a bit iffy for some folks.
CV. Eruru Takeda
Sweet and good natured young woman who works in her grandmother’s bakery. She is well liked and respected around town. Her parents went MIA when she was just a girl and now Ronan and her grandmother are her only family. She can be pretty strong willed, but she has a soft spot for Ronan, who she treats like a younger brother.
One day she wakes up to discover that she has cat ears and a tail…
CV. Mato Sarashina
Lilia’s childhood friend who helps with stocking the bakery. He can be a bit clumsy and a little awkward, but he is earnest and kind. Lilia pretty much treats him like a younger brother, but after she learns that he is secretly a member of the city guard, her opinion of him changes.
When he’s in his guard persona he’s much more dependable and mature. But, when he is with Lilia he lets her spoil him.
How To Take Off Your Mask has a pretty close knit cast of characters, each with their own unique personalities–some of the characters make appearances in other Eroolia games. I absolutely LOVE Juri and I am so happy that he gets his own story in How To Fool A Liar King, but all of the entire cast is super fun and there’s great chemistry between the main characters that really helps expand on the story and the world. But, I adore the relationship between Lilia and Ronan, their back and forth is super cute and you really get the sense of just how strong their bond is, even before things start getting romantic. When Lilia is in her human form she is a dependable older sister who dotes on her cute “little brother” Ronan. But when she becomes Leea their roles are reversed and I really love how the voice actors change their performances to reflect the change in the character’s personalities. Like when Lilia becomes Leea she uses “nya” when speaking and Ronan’s voice when he is in his guard persona is much more mature sounding.
Like most childhood friend romances the relationship between Lilia and Ronan is super wholesome and sweet–so prepare yourself for a lot of shameless teasing and cute bickering. The whole secret alter ego premise is cute and really allows you to see a different sides to both characters and I really liked seeing both Lilia and Ronan interacting with each other’s alter egos.
Improved Art Assets – The new Switch port features improved graphics and updated CGs. Hato, the artist that worked on the Cafe 0 series helped remaster the CGs in the game and there are these super cute accents added to the images. The character sprites were also improved and now have some additional animated features, like blinking eyes and mouth movements during speech.
New Animated UI – The UI interface was updated with some pretty nice animation.
Full Japanese Voice Acting (Improvements) – The game is fully voiced in Japanese and the sound quality was improved for the new Switch port. The voices are much more clear than they were in the 2015 release. The voice cast is as follows:
Lilia/ Leea – Eruru Takeda
Ronan – Mato Sarashina
Juli – Kon
Mars – Taichi Tanukida
Grandma/ Kid/ Madam A – Hisano Numahata
ELM Member – Babaten
Ronan (Child) – Yuki Manaka
Black Cat/ Madam B – Zakuroishi
Mars’s Mother – Sayoko Amatsuka
On the surface, How To Take Off Your Mask is a childhood friends turned lovers romance with a cute secret identity switcheroo premise, but when you peel back the layers there’s some really interesting worldbuilding sprinkled in that really elevates the story. Eroolia is a rich fantasy world that is ripe with storytelling possibilities and this first entry in the Story of Eroolia series is a great introduction into the world of Eroolia and the Luccretia.
The art is gorgeous and I love all the improvements to the UI and art assets. The music has always been one of the highlights of the series and the opening theme, Take Off Your Mask, sung by Kuyuri is absolutely beautiful! If you’re looking for a short cute indie otome game to play over a weekend, I highly recommend giving How To Take Off Your Mask a play!
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