I’ve heard a bunch of good things about Heart of the House, but I’ve been putting off playing it for a while because of other things and I’ve only gotten around to playing it now. I’m really glad I’ve finally gone through it, because this is the best text adventure I’ve played in a while. The mystery and suspense is exciting, the prose is engaging to read, the romance is heartwarming and flows naturally, the drama is heart-wrenching. I ended up rating it 10 twice.
I also loved the Bloodborne-esque themes at the end. I found it super interesting that your talents for the spiritual were sort of in the wrong context, because you weren’t dealing with ghosts, but eldritch beings. It still helped a lot, but you couldn’t banish the Formless Ones directly with your abilities they way you would with Lady Amelia and the churchyard ghosts because they were fundamentally different beings. It’s sort of like getting an ophthalmologist to deal with a broken bone. They can probably help more than the average person, but it’s not their expertise. I also wanted to ask, is the scene of Oriana holding a small tentacled eldritch baby a reference to the Childhood’s Beginning ending in Bloodborne? I hope I’m not reading too much into it and making connections where there’s none.
First time around though, I impulsively restarted because I couldn’t save Dev I effed up and thought I could save him by throwing the spirits to help him with 70 Arcanum, but the House still took him. Had to stand up and take a walk after that because my hands were shaking too much like the MC’s. A good story will do that to you, I guess.
Still, I suppose it was for the best that I restarted, because I never apparently romanced him properly, because I didn’t get the scene that lets you visit him the night before the ball. I kept getting the poly scene, but since I wasn’t romancing Loren, they just looked at me funny, heh. That’s probably one small criticism I have, because I never would have thought to send Dev and Loren back to their beds to get the option to visit people’s rooms once I end up in the Master Bedroom. I just stumbled into it since I went and got 80 Arcanum when I restarted and played through it again, and this time the MC was able to keep from collapsing after using the spirits to save Loren from Godfrey. It would be nice if it was made clearer in the poly option that sending them back to their respective rooms would trigger the official romance paths.
@resuri08 I super agree on hoping that you could have married Dev in the epilogue. Beyonce said if you like it, then you should put a ring on it, and I would if I could have I liked his romance path so much that I can’t bring myself to romance anybody else anymore.
I just have a few questions about the ending and the achievements, though. Am I correct in assuming that closing the portal without sacrificing yourself (and with Oriana’s help closing it on the other side) seals away the Formless Ones beyond the aether for good, and that the House won’t need to sacrifice people any more to keep them at bay? Would sacrificing yourself have destroyed the Formless Ones outside the aether or just those that were able to slip through? I’m also unsure of how to save all the people that you could save while also getting Kent’s memories back. I’ve helped Loren regain their memories, looked at the book, and found the amulet, but I still end up sending Kent away with Dev and the rest of the guests, and he never fully recovers even when you get back to London. Do you have to choose to save him in the ball? Same with getting the You Have a Little House achievement. I always invite Loren to stay with us in London, but I never get that achievement. Do you have to be in a romance with them?
I’ve probably gone on for way too long. I absolutely loved Heart of the House and I’ll be looking forward to Nissa Campbell’s other works.