A Forsaken Place is a dark fantasy indie otome game developed by LegendEx Games for the game jam, Nanoreno 2021. In the game you play as a Titania, a mage descended from one of the greatest enchantresses the world has ever known. But unlike her famous ancestor, Titania’s powers are average at best and she comes up with a plan to summon the Demon Prince, Asmodeus in hopes that he will teach her more about the dark arts. What’s the worst that could happen?
Centuries ago, Ingrid the Great waged war on demonkind with the power of black magic and won. Demons were banished to the underworld where they could no longer harm humanity with their wicked ways. Or, so the legend goes.
After finding her great ancestor’s journal, Titania wants to become the greatest enchantress to ever live. So naturally, she summons the Demon Prince, Asmodeus, using Ingrid’s notes. What could go wrong?
Romance, befriend, or even make an enemy of Asmodeus. Will you be able to uncover the truth about the relationship between humanity and demonkind, or will you be left in the dark?
A Forsaken Place Official Synopsis
Like most Nanoreno games, A Forsaken Place was created in just one month and it’s a fairly quick play clocking in at about an hour maybe two depending on your reading speed and while it’s short, this game definitely packs an emotional punch. Titania wants to learn dark magic so she can be like her ancestor Ingrid the Great, who is responsible for saving humanity by banishing all demons to the underworld. But, rather than sharing her magical knowledge with future generations of mages, she took her secret to the grave, only leaving behind her fragmented journals. Undeterred, Tatania studies these journals and discovers a demon summoning spell which she uses to summon Asmodeus, one of the seven Demon Princes. But in doing so she binds him to her until he fulfills her request: teach her the dark arts… which he flat out refuses as his history with Ingrid has made him distrustful of humans. Instead he demands that she send him back so he can continue his eternity of brooding in the Underworld. Tatania doesn’t have the juice to send him back with her magic alone, so Asmodeus tells her about a (rather convenient) magical dagger that when used will sever their bond and send him home. Figuring she can use this extra one-on-one time to pick Asmodeus’s brain for the magical knowledge she seeks, Titania agrees and so begins their harrowing quest.
Along the way they learn more about not just each other, but Ingrid and the events surrounding the banishment of demons during the war. The game is short, taking place over the course of a few days, but its more than enough time to see a relationship develop between Titania and Asmodeus and y’all I really like the chemistry between these two. Titania is stubborn and ambitious, and as a member of the Corvus family she has a lot of pride, so she isn’t one to back down from an argument. While she’s not the most powerful mage, she has a thirst for knowledge and she will do whatever it takes to get what she wants even if that means summoning a demon. Asmodeus for the most part wants nothing to do with her or any human for that matter, because of his history with Ingrid in the past.
There is some truth to the saying “history is written by the victors” since Asmodeus’s version of events doesn’t jive with the histories the Corvus family have been spreading and that is a point of contention for the two and it’s nice to kind of see both perspectives and how their preconceived notions about each other. The two of them butt heads quite a bit—Titania even takes to calling him “Assmodeus” which is hilarious given how powerful he is and if not for the spell binding him to her he’d probably zap her out of existence—but I dunno, I kind of like the enemies to friends dynamic so it works for me.
There are three endings to unlock: Wicked (Bad ending), Banished (Neutral), and True Love (Best)—and believe me when I say the Wicked and Banished ends definitely hit hard, so prepare your heart. This is a romance and there are definitely some cute moments between the pair, but given how short the game is I wouldn’t call it a full blown romantic relationship. There’s definitely something there (especially in the True Love end), but I would like to see Titania and Asmodeus spend more time with one another before I call it love.
For a game that was created in just one month, A Forsaken Place is a really well put together game. The sprites are gorgeous—Titania wears this black and purple outfit with a raven crest that is just absolutely perfect and I’m never gonna turn down a shirtless demon with rippling muscles. Titania and Asmodeus are the only characters we see in the game and the devs went all out in making them look good! There are also three CGs, one of which is a variation of a scene in the opening while the other is a more standard otome-esque CG from the True Love ending. Normally I’d want more, but seeing as the game was created in a month, having any at all is a huge accomplishment. Also, A Forsaken Place has partial voice acting. Usually when a game has partial voice acting it’s one or two words that are used throughout, but here there are whole sections of dialogue that are voiced not to mention the opening. The entire cast is fantastic, especially Allen Chan who voices Asmodeus~
I never know what to expect when I play a Nanoreno release the short development time can be a bit of a burden on even the most seasoned developers, but the LegendEX Games managed to pull through with an exceptional entry! They set the bar pretty high for the rest of the Nanoreno games, with gorgeous visuals, an engaging fantasy story, and the voice acting, which is just the cherry on top of a phenomenal experience. If I had to come up with one flaw it’s that the game is so short! LegendEX created this fantastic fantasy world and characters and I’d love to experience more from them in future projects! But as it stands I wholeheartedly recommend giving this game a play!
Nanoreno, is an annual one-month game jam that is held from March to early April where developers are challenged to create a visual novel in the allotted time frame. The game jam is open to newbie devs and veterans alike and every year I am blown away by the submissions—this year there were 89 submissions ranging from romance to parody to everything else in between.
There’s a lot to get through, so throughout the month of April I will be covering as many of the submissions as I can, while giving special attention to indie otome and the romance VN titles.