Virche Evermore: Error Salvation is a dark fantasy otome game developed by Otomate and published in English by Aksys Games for the Nintendo Switch. Dive into the depths of despair and embrace the pain in this dark and angsty story about a young woman’s fight against her own tragic fate!
- Genre: Fantasy | Drama | Romance
- Rating: ESRB M
- Developer & Publisher: Otomate & Aksys Games
- Where to Get the Game: Aksys Games | Amazon | Nintendo eShop
- Similar Games: Even if Tempest | Taisho x Alice | Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk
About Virche Evermore: Error Salvation
Arpéchéle is a small country in western Europe. Surrounded by the sea and black flowers of misfortune called Lycoris Noirge, humans in this country are born with a “death curse” that leads to death by age 23.
The people of the country lament and oppose their short-lived fates. And after many years of research, a system was created—a “memory download” system where the body that dies by age 23 is discarded, and only the memories live on. Those who live forever through memory download are known as “Relivers” and continue to resist their short lives. Meanwhile, there was a girl known as “Death,” as everyone she was involved with dies. Just as she is about to end her life in regret, a mysterious man who calls himself the “Watchman of Death” appears before her.
Under the watchman’s guidance, the girl will approach the truth of the “various mysteries of death” that haunts this country, whether she likes it or not… Without knowing that despair is the fate that awaits those who are loved by “Death.”
Characters of Virche Evermore: Error Salvation
Virche Evermore: Error Salvation has a total of six “romanceable” characters: Yves, the good natured owner of handy-man business Courrune; Lucas, a traveling teacher; Mathis, the soft spoken heir of a noble family; Scien, the genius scientist; Adolphe, the dependable foster brother; and Ankou, the mysterious Watchman of Death.
Mathis, Lucas, and Scien‘s routes are playable at the start of the game. Yves‘s route unlocks after completing certain endings for the first three LIs. After completing Yves’s route the third act will unlock and from there you can pursue Adolphe and Ankou.
Mathis Claude (VA. Kohei Amasaki)
Mathis is the heir of the Claude family, a prestigious family living in Chedis. He’s soft spoken and shy, mostly keeping to himself. He prefers to spend his time reading books in his room (a man after my own heart) and occasionally writing his own stories. But, even this sweet bean has a dark side. After witnessing the death of his brother, Mathis makes it his mission to hunt down and kill the person responsible–by any means necessary.
He’s the youngest LI and one of the closest to Ceres in age. His relationship with Ceres was just so darn cute and wholesome. I just wanted to put them in a bubble and protect them from all the horrors of the world. But, this is Virche, so things go sideways in the most horrific and unexpected ways. This route definitely surprised me, I honestly could not have predicted how dark it was going to get.
TLDR: Punish the cutie route. They put Mathis through the ringer, his thirst for revenge takes this smol bean down some dark turns, so prepare your heart.
Lucas Proust (VA. Daisuke Hirakawa)
Lucas is a traveling teacher and a devout Christian who visits the local orphanages spreading the good word of Jesus (and knowledge). When he isn’t telling you about his lord and savior Jesus Christ, he’s enriching the minds of the kiddos teaching them about Reliver technology. While he isn’t a fan of Relivers he is respectful of the opinions of others, never imposing his own views on his students.
Lucas is entirely too pretty. This man should think about a career change, because if I had a teacher as pretty as him when I was in school, my ass wouldn’t know how to read. But, don’t let his saintly looks fool you, Lucas is the kind of person who’ll smile in your face and then turn around and slash your tires, and you would blame someone else.
Lucas’s route explores the moral implications of Reliver technology and the effect that has on Arpéchéle’s views on life and death.
TLDR: One of the darkest routes in the game, and that’s saying something. If you’re looking for a light at the end of the tunnel… sorry in advance.
Scien Brofiise (VA. Yoshimasa Hosoya)
Scien is the self-proclaimed “god” of Arpéchéle. He’s the oldest Reliver on the island and the creator of the technology. He is arrogant and smug to the point of wanting to strangle him every time he speaks, but there is something kinda sexy about a guy that doesn’t give a f*ck. If it’s not his own research, Scien cannot be bothered to summon even the smallest f*ck to give. To him, emotions are a flaw in the grand design and he has made it his mission to eradicate them. While he is lax in almost every other area of his life, he is oddly dedicated when it comes to developing Reliver technology and his own personal projects. But, he does have surprising cute side, he’s kinda like an overgrown cat.
While he looks 23, Scien is actually
a grandpa, so I guess he’s a GILF 65 years old. He’s been around so long that he’s kind of bored with life. He is absolute trash, but he’s hot so I guess it’s okay. Also, he has the best CGs, in the game. Every CG has this man lounging seductively, with his ass in the air and tits out… so eye candy~
His route focuses on the innerworkings of the Institute and the social and political ideologies of Arpéchéle.
TLDR: He blinded me with science! SO MUCH casual (read: wrong) science jargon 😭 But, that aside, Scien is absolutely Virche’s trash husbando.
Yves (VA. Soma Saito)
🔒 Locked Route 🔒
Yves is the best boy, any other dude is just a cheap imitation. Yves is the “canon” route. As a child he saved Ceres from a fire, earning some nasty burns in the process. Ever since he’s worn a mask to hide the scars, and despite the damage he doesn’t hold a grudge against Ceres. In fact he goes out of his way to befriend her with little regard for the rumors about her being “Death”. He even doesn’t seem to hate the black lycoris, actually growing them in the garden around his house. He’s a bit of an oddity on the island, but he’s just so funny, sweet, and dumb–my ideal. Just, don’t eat his toxic cooking…
Yves gives off shounen hero vibes, earnest and kind to fault, he runs the local handyman business, Courrune and serves as second in command of the Corps under Adolphe. He’s always in a good mood and literally loves everyone, unconditionally; which has earned him the nickname of “goodie two shoes”. Like a fairytale prince, Yves is almost too good to be true. His relationship with Ceres is just so sweet and wholesome, and I really appreciate how much time the route spends establishing their budding relationship. I felt so invested in their journey, it was like a beautiful (tragic) fairytale, but I enjoyed every single minute of it.
This route explores the truth behind a lot of things only touched on in the other routes, like the “curse” of the island and the lycoris.
TLDR: BEST BOY! Any other LI is just a cheap consolation prize, because Yves is end game! This route feels like the canon route and it was everything I could have hoped for and more! LOVE HIM, PLEASE!
Adolphe (VA. Taku Yashiro)
🔒 Locked Route 🔒
Adolphe is Ceres’s foster brother and the current leader of the Corps. He’s besties with Yves and generally well liked by most of the people on the island. Most big bro types are sweet and personable, but Adolphe is a bit more stoic. He isn’t quick to befriend others, even keeping distance between himself and those closest to him. The only exception in Ceres, who he dotes on… (in a monotone) like an older brother ಠ_ಠ.
I am not a fan of brother routes–blood related or otherwise. If an LI has to ask, “Do you love me as your brother or as a man?” then there is something fundamentally wrong. Ceres has to overcome seeing Adolphe as just a member of her family and as someone she could see herself romantically involved with. While Adolphe, has to fight tooth and nail to keep his RAGING boner for his foster sister in check. So, suffice to say, Adolphe’s route was not my favorite. If you like big brother tropes you’ll probably love this route.
But, the writers sure did love him a whole hell of a lot, because he gets one of the longest routes in the game. This route is locked at the start of the game, and for good reason because it explains pretty much everything (and some things I could have done without). So, Adolphe and Ceres’s relationship often takes a backseat to the plot. Objectively, my hatred of brother routes aside (yes I am aware they aren’t blood related), there’s a bit of a star-crossed lovers vibe to Adolphe and Ceres’s relationship that I liked.
TLDR: Not my favorite romance, but it ties up all the loose ends and then some. Has a very, Final Episode feel to it. This is the route the writers WANT to be the canon route, but I refuse to accept that. #NotMyCanonRoute
Ankou (VA. Kazuyuki Okitsu)
🔒 Locked Route 🔒
Ankou is the mysterious Watchman of Death, lurking about the lycoris fields. He claims to be taking a break from his job watching over the souls in Hades to investigate a series of unnatural deaths taking place on the island. He mostly spends his time lurking amongst the lycoris fields surrounding the island, and this is where he first meets Ceres attempting to end her life. He stops her and claims that he is her ultimate partner. Not wanting to see her suffer, he offers to put an end her curse if she helps him investigate the series of gruesome murders happening on the island.
He seems to know more about Arpéchéle and its Death curse, but every time he tries to reveal anything he is stopped by an unknown force. The universe, literally put a spoiler tag on this man. So, he spends most of his time giving Ceres cryptic clues and hints to help her on her journey.
This route is one big spoiler, so I’ll keep it brief. Yes, you can “technically” romance Ankou. But, his route unfolds in a non-traditional way, so if you’re expecting the usual romantic situations, sorry to say that doesn’t really happen here. This route is very much an excuse to explain everything that’s been going on behind the scenes and tie up loose ends. So, Ankou kind of gets left in the dust in the romance department, which is a shame, because I really liked him as a character.
TLDR: This route is very much an excuse to explain everything that’s been going on behind the scenes and tie up loose ends. So, Ankou kind of gets left in the dust in the romance department.
For a depressing game like Virche Evermore: Error Salvation it’s a prerequisite that the heroine be appropriately tragic, and trust, Ceres is the embodiment of the tragic heroine trope. Girlie has lived a very sad life. She’s an orphan girl who is hated by the people Arpéchéle because of her unique ability to kill people, earning her the title of “Death”. Anyone that comes into prolonged contact with her dies horribly before reaching the age of 23, so most of the folks on the island give her a pretty wide berth. Because of this Ceres is timid and pessimistic about her life as a walking plague–you might note similarities to another otome heroine *cough* Cardia *cough*.
You would think being a social pariah would make Ceres resentful towards the people on the island, but she is surprisingly understanding about it. In fact, she harbors a lot of self loathing and actively seeks out ways to end her own life. She’s self-sacrificing to a fault and because of that her journey is an interesting one. She goes from being someone that is literally willing to lay down their life to help other people, to someone who selfishly fights to hang on to every little bit of happiness she can get. She becomes more open about her own wants and needs, even at the expense of other people, and I kinda love that for her. Ceres’s one desire in life is to live like a normal girl and damnit if she doesn’t set out to do just that!
Virche Evermore: Error Salvation Review
Shuuen no Virche or Virche Evermore: Error Salvation is one of those games that has a bit of a “reputation” for being dark and angsty, especially for an otome game. The hype for Virche was insane following its announcement at Anime Expo 2022, with my socials being flooded with excited tweets and posts about its localization. But, I did noticed that amidst the fanfare there was also an overwhelming number of warnings about how “dark” and “unhinged” the game is, and not gonna lie, the warnings kind of made me want to play the game more.
I’ve played my fair share of dark, twisted games over the years. I survived some of Nitro+chiral’s worst, and anyone that’s played Naked Butlers can pretty much handle anything. So I figured I was ready for whatever Virche Evermore had to offer… and let me just say, this game more than earned its M rating.
The game starts with the main character alone in a field of black lycoris (flowers symbolizing death), juuuuust before she stabs herself in the throat, ending her own life. And that’s just the first five minutes of the game. From its first moments to its last, Virche Evermore does not pull its punches, immersing us in its deliciously dark themes and story. But, what did you expect from Satomi Nakayama, the same story writer who worked on Café Enchante.
Set on the island of Arpéchéle, a land beloved by Death its inhabitants are cursed to die by the age of 23. To combat this, the people of the island have devised a technology that allows them to download their memories into clone bodies and live beyond their short lifespans as “Relivers” (I know super clever naming). Of course this salvation comes at a cost, so most folks opt to use their first 23 years of life to work towards earning enough to become Relivers with little regard to their transient lives.
Among them is Ceres, a young woman reviled by the people on the island as the embodiment of “Death”. Anyone she becomes involved with either dies horribly before their 23 years are up or get swept up in strange accidents, like when an orphanage she lived at burned to the ground. So, many avoid her at all cost. Granted, at just 18, Ceres has wracked up quite the kill count already, so the avoidance is warranted. Only her adopted mother, Salome, the matron of the orphanage she works at and her foster brother Adolphe don’t believe the hype and treat her like a normal girl.
When her devastating abilities strike someone close to her, she attempts to end her (and everyone else’s) suffering by taking her own life. Just as she is about to end her life, a mysterious man who calls himself the “Watchman of Death” appears before her and offers to help her put an end to her misfortune for good. She is tasked with helping him investigate a series of brutal murders happening on the island to uncover the true nature of her curse and the curse of Death plaguing Arpéchéle. The resulting journey pulls Ceres and her companions into the depths of despair, as they fight against their inevitable fate.
Virche Evermore: Error Salvation isn’t for everyone. Let me say that again for the folks in the back, this game ain’t for everyone. Delving into themes of despair and salvation, some routes can be harder to get through. Especially, since in a unique twist the game forces you to complete the bad ends for each character before you can view the “happier” outcomes.
Are the happier endings worth all the pain and angst? Eh, kinda. I won’t lie and say that everything is sunshine and rainbows by the end of the game–because it isn’t. But, there is something endearing about the journey. In fact the game goes out of its way to hammer home the utter misfortune Ceres and the rest of the cast have to contend with as they fight tooth and nail for their salvation. You really come to feel for these characters and while the story is overwhelmingly dark there are moments of levity that elevate the narrative into something more meaningful.
The romance is made more impactful because of all the hoops Ceres and her chosen boys have to go through to get to their happy ends. I genuinely loved all of these characters (except Adolphe, I will fully admit he is not my fave) and each route serves as a piece of the bigger picture, offering a unique perspective on the story. Even in the midst of their bleak realities there were some really sweet, romantic moments that gave me all the doki dokis (only for the game to immediately punish me forgetting what game I was playing).
Each character, whether they’re a part of the main cast or a side character, has their own views and motivations that is unique to this world. While mostly a fantasy story, Virche does delve into a bit of pseudoscience, with the Reliver tech and once again, I kind of find myself wishing there were more sci-fi fantasy otome localizations, because the worldbuilding in this game is really fascinating.
Virche Evermore explores some complex themes and ideologies, and at times serves as a social commentary on human nature. It can get a bit preachy at times, but it’s an otome game, there are always a few cheesy after school message styled moments baked in. But, that said they do help flesh out the world and the characters, so I can’t say they don’t serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things.
That said, this game isn’t perfect, there were a few plot points that could have done with a bit of trimming down. The finale, was especially grueling to get through with how looooong it seemed to drag on in an attempt to tie up loose ends.
With the overwhelming number of bad ends it’s easy to get desensitized to some of the more triggering stuff. There were some lighthearted moments every now and again to kind of temper the angst, but most of the time the game barely stopped just shy of being torture porn. But, if that’s your thing, you’ll be eating good with Virche Evermore.
The Verdict: Is Virche Evermore – Error Salvation Worth Playing?
Virche Evermore: Error Salvation absolutely lived up to the hype, but it’s not for everyone. This game goes to some dark places and if you’re looking for a feel good, fluffy romance, Virche Evermore is not the game for you. Mass murderers, corrupt governments, death (so much death), and characters pulled to depths of despair are a large part of the story. But, if you can stomach its darker story and themes, Virche Evermore is one hell of a ride.
Thank you to Aksys Games for providing me with a copy of Virche Evermore Error Salvation for this review.