Honor Bound: Creme de la Creme 4—Protect a boarding school as a military bodyguard! [Ch 1-6, 263K words, updated May 8]

I may be missing something in the quiz section regarding the expanded epilogue - is it supposed to reflect if the Royal Affairs PC had a Teranese wedding? None of the quiz options seem to mention the epilogue.

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Hm. I shut down the Raffi options at the first opportunity, but my stats screen still says that I’m interested in him. Might need to be looked at.

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And another one. At the towm meeting we’ve got:

“Savarel and the Honored Lidia sit flanking them, with Sheriff Ruiz to one side; Savarel’s wearing her priestly robes and displaying her fern pendant, and smiles warmly or (sav_romance)) in your direction.”

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Thanks so much @izzily and @AnneWest, that’s immensely helpful!

@AnneWest - that’s just an error on the stats page, so you have not accidentally started a Raffi romance, don’t worry!

I’ve updated with a few fixes:

  • Chapter skip no longer interrupts the quiz about the state of the world
  • Stat page no longer spreads slander about who the PC is interested in romancing​
  • Added clarity about which options definitely end the Korzha romance (so you can assume others do not)
  • Various typo and minor chapter-skip fixes
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I have always loved bodyguard stories so this is right up my alley keep up the good work

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I love the idea of a raising sim game where you also have a life of your own.

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I’m really caught between the desire to read it all and try to offer useful feedback, or to selfishly avoid reading further because I don’t want to spoil the full release for myself. I’ve gone as far as the orienteering trip and it’s all very polished and intriguing up to that point. I’m enjoying the range of options in how I react/feel in different situations. So…hope “Good job, keep going!” counts as feedback :slight_smile:

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No worries; I’ve been trying different variations to see what’s what. However, the Teran part still seems to be inconsistent. I decided to go ahead and see what I could get it to do. The good news is that almost all the ROs do get the Teran option (though for some it only comes up if the MC was engaged, whereas for some it comes up for both)

It doesn’t seem to show for Javi whether or not MC is engaged, and in a pretty funny twist, eloping with Dominique and Javi shows up under romancing Beaumont and Trevelyan. XD

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please fix it

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@izzily Thank you! That’s fixed now, just one of those copy-paste-without-fully-paying-attention errors. I’ve also done a chapter skip romance-interest fix, and tweaked it a little so you can’t repeatedly say you’re interested in the same person (not that it would make a difference, but it’s neater this way).

@Kelis_Ethel Thank you so much! This section was at the end of speaking with the Westerlind diplomat - which of the other groups did you speak to before that point? Can I also check whether you had loaded a game that was saved before the Tuesday update, and whether you had skipped any chapters to get to Chapter 4 or had played the all the way through manually? I can’t replicate the bug on my end so it would be really helpful to know so I can investigate further. (One of the chapter-skip fixes I made may have fixed this too, but I’m not sure.)

@StarWarsMaster and @Victoriya Thank you so much, I hope you enjoy! I’m enjoying writing the ways you can nudge Catarina in different directions.

@Prawn That’s really lovely, not selfish at all! I really appreciate it :heart_eyes:

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Thank you, I’ve enjoyed update greatly! Now I’m afraid that in my playthroughs with other MC’s it will be hard to refuse to help Varenn. Helping RO who is not feeling well is my weakness.
Maybe it was because I used the old save (from the start of chapter 4), but I got conversation with Varenn about relationship though we already had that conversation before. Later I’ll try to play from the start to see if this bug appears.

Some minor errors

Chapter 4
Mandriotti shakes his head. “Don’t,” he says. “He said they wanted some time.” - It’s about Varenn so instead of “they” there should be Varenn’s pronounce, “he” in my playthrough
Chapter 5
"“See you next week,” she calls as Savarel joins him. “We can always chat after the meeting if you like.” " - Matia is “she”, so should be Savarel joins her.
“Looking exhausted, He sits down heavily at the desk.” - wrong capital He

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That’s really helpful, thank you! The typos are now corrected.

I think this was due to how the chapter skip was set up. I’ve changed how that section of the skip works so that you can specify whether you’ve had a direct discussion with a character, or whether you’ve just flirted. RandomTest is passing at 10K seeds for the skip sections (and the chapters once they’re skipped to), so hopefully that should have it sorted.

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I’ve pushed an update with a few fixes:

  • Chapter 5 romantic scene with Matia no longer triggers if you’re not in a romance
  • Saying no to hanging out with Denario in Chapter 5 no longer leads to hanging out
  • Typo fix

I’ve had another report about the error message that says: It is illegal to fall out of a *choice statement; you must *goto or *finish before the end of the indented block." In this case, it was when starting a romance with Denario in Chapter 5. If it happens to you, or if the person who reported is reading, please could you try the same actions in the itchio version and let me know if the errors come up or not?

I’m not able to replicate these errors with my local version, either when I play through or with RandomTest. I do see them when I play on on dashingdon though and I’m trying to figure out whether it’s dashingdon not playing nicely with implicit control flow, or something I’m doing wrong.

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Great! I got it working!

I keep on trying to hunt down the references to the Royal Affairs MC to tell the truth. So far I’ve found three-and-a-half. A mention that it’s very sweet that they married a commoner (that was on my first run a few months ago), a combined one where Simone talkes about meeting them and there’s a bit about Beaumont Financiers (which changes slightly if MC and Beaumont were together)/“what the royal is getting up to with royal javi” and later on something about the MC doing another tour of Gui… something. Guiraya?

I wanted to give some praise about the character of Catarina: I’ve had a couple of runs now where I’ve managed to get fairly close with her and it feels really authentic and rewarding. She feels very teenaged and the little dramas are endearing. I must protecc.

A couple bits and pieces I bumped into:

Summary

Head injury/training corps has a sentence that doesn’t make sense:
It was a disaster. **When he threw the grenade wrong, you and rushed to stop it.** You were caught by the edge of the explosion blast and shrapnel embedded itself in your head. It could so easily have been much, much worse for you.

There’s a repeat of a line here:

Korzha nods. "I must complete my notes," he says. "Don't let me keep you."

"I must complete my notes," he says. "Don't let me keep you."

Slightly afterwards, there’s some pronoun/subject funkiness (Korzha is supposed to be he/him in this instance, so there’s both a random ‘them’ and Raffi’s saying things like ‘he never agree’ - I wonder maybe if Raffi’s pronouns got spliced in?):

"'Don't let me keep you,' can you believe him?" Raffi says. "He's so important and busy. I've asked him if he want to do sparring practice, but he never agree to."

Raffi nods amiably. "Oh, of course," they say. "I mean, I'd never say anything bad about him. He's a great teacher, and everything. Simone really likes him. And he's not too scary if you don't annoy them. It's just that when you talk to him, you can feel their eyes looking straight at you."

I think it’s intended here that you can select another option in the camping conversation (and I did indeed get a second choice) after getting this initial response from Matia, but because of the ‘She turns and disappears’ part, it’s confusing. Matia wound up going to her tent twice.

Matia scoffs a laugh. "Oh, yes," she says. "They'll sleep for about ten minutes because they'll be busy having fights, and then when it's time to get up they'll complain the ground was too hard."

She turns and disappears into her tent.

Visiting Fiore at the hotel and selecting this option caused the ‘Play again’ screen to pop up instead of Chapter 5.
Fiore's smile is wobbly, but genuine. They close the door gently behind you, and you head into the night. You'll be catching the train back to Ozera early tomorrow morning: best to get some rest.

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Aw, I’m so happy that you’re liking how Catarina is written! I really like writing her, and showing characters in their mid-teens from an adult’s perspective.

I actually can’t remember which references there are to the Royal Affairs MC now, haha! - I will probably sprinkle some more in when I’m doing my draft revisions! I want to put some more in during Chapter 4 for sure but held off when I was writing it because I hadn’t done the epilogue at that point and didn’t want to have to rewrite more. There are some references to certain Creme MCs later on in the game, but they’re slightly obscure - it’ll be fun to see how much they come up!

Thanks so much for the bug reports, it’s so helpful! The typos are all sorted.

I think this may now be fixed. If it happens again, please can you let me know and also whether this was after a romantic conversation, or generally what the tone of your chat was before you got to these lines? I ask because that first line can trigger from a lot of different places so it’s a bit tricky to work out whether it’s fixed in the right places. I’m not surprised it’s raised an issue, because there are so many little sentences and fragments related to people getting up and going to bed in that section :sweat_smile:

That’s very strange! I’ve tried playing through Chapter 4 myself on dashingdon and it seems to be behaving OK, going onto Chapter 5 as expected. If it’s still happening on your end, is this loading from a save or a fresh playthrough? (whether or not you used the chapter skip)

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This just happened to me, except I went the Korza route. Seems to randomly happen, I remember when that happened to me on one other playthrough with the Fiore route. It was on itch.io if that helps :slight_smile:

Other minor typos :

“premier” should be “premiere” in the Morarre introduction scene.

“I can’t, they don’t have space!” - I think most people would say “I can’t, there’s no space!”

“her black gaze” might not be very culturally sensitive where American audiences are concerned.

Here’s a screenshot of the bug that makes it end after chapter 4.

I’m wondering if it might be a browser issue - do you think you could try clearing your cache before playing again? And was this loading an earlier save or from playing through the update from the beginning?

Thank you so much for the rest! I’ll probably be doing those edits on Monday.

I was playing it from the beginning :slight_smile: btw just found another bug, the character guide gets attached to the stats screen when you select it.

Screenshot is here

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A few fixes and edits today:

  • When first meeting up with people in Chapter 5 while not officially romancing anyone, the person who likes you the most out of Matia, Raffi, or Savarel will come to talk as intended rather than defaulting to Matia
  • Character guide on the stat page no longer bizarrely leads straight back into the main stat page
  • Various corrections to stat check tests
  • Added another option to be pro-Denario with Mandriotti
  • Added an option to ask Raffi not to tell their friends about your love life
  • Signposted one of the consequences of the town hall meeting more clearly
  • Various minor typo fixes, tweaks, and corrected dialogue/description transitions

Thanks so much to everyone for your reports and feedback, it’s been incredibly useful! I read through everything and where I don’t make immediate changes, I keep an eye on what’s been mentioned to look at during later edits.

@S_Missions I’m afraid I still can’t get the Chapter-4-ending bug to happen for me, sorry! If you play again, please can you try clearing your cache before starting playing and see if that helps? I’m a bit mystified about why it would be happening.

On a non-bug-related note, just to let you know that you don’t have to start romances or flirt openly with characters as soon as the options come up in order for romances to work! I had a couple of comments saying they wanted to get to know characters better before starting a romance, which is totally safe to choose - you won’t break the romance by moving more slowly. To give a sense of the scale, I’ve recently been writing scenes all the way in Chapter 9 in which you can start a romance completely fresh with an NPC having not flirted at all before then - so if you want to be friends with characters for longer in the early-to-mid game, slow-play it, or simply play the field casually for some time, you can.

To start a polyamorous triad romance, you’ll want to do or say something to make sure both people involved have a sense that you’re interested in them, but even that can be started later than Chapter 5.

Basically, pacing is flexible and you can do what feels right for your PC. It varies across different characters, but overall you can experience a wide range - whether that’s sleeping with some people early on, flirting straightaway (in various ways - very overtly or more subtly), harbouring a long-standing crush and not saying anything for a long time, having an early crush that fades away over time, having a one-night-stand that turns to friendship, having a friends-with-benefits relationship that does or doesn’t become more romantic, becoming friends and being surprised by your own romantic feelings after a long time…

And/or have solid workplace bonds, become trusted friends, build a support network or a sense of community, develop a queerplatonic bond, give support and ask for it when it’s needed, or be a lone wolf and not get particularly close with anyone, focusing on the job and your other ambitions…

Lots of different options depending on what you want to go for!

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I’ve tried other routes and it was interesting too. I enjoyed getting to know Savarel and kissing him was almost as lewd as gazing with Varenn :blush:

Something I've got myself into

This MC is romancing Savarel and I used old save and I guess I accidentally (or deliberately, I can’t remember) showed interest in Raffi in the first chapters. So in chapter 5 during the conversation about signing event I got:
“Raffi leans his head on your shoulder with a happy murmur. His glossy brown hair smells of sweet vanilla.”
And MC continues as normal. It is my fault: MC showed interest once and failed to reject flirting (while replaying I noticed this choice in chapter 3 but it was subtle hand touching so I must have skipped it before and chose “I thank Raffi politely.” instead of “I thank Raffi, but I don’t want any more flirtation from Raffi.”). So I’d appreciate some options to react to this head leaning in chapter 5.

Oh, and when I restart game now it begins with option to skip chapters without all that was before (RO’s gender choice ect). Also Varenn’s name is blanked in choices in chapter 2:
“I’d like to shadow , to work on my political knowledge.”
“I’d like to shadow , to work on the wildlife observation.”
I skipped chapter 1 and chose to use first name with Varenn (as fellow captain).