These Reluctant Years (WIP) - Last updated: August 11th, 2021

Bug? grammar?

I picked a girl for the second main character so it should have used female pronouns instead.

“Perhaps we could look for his family before returning…?” I suggest.

The newcomer looks at you and shrugs like he can’t understand why you would bother.

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Okay wow… The update was incredible!
Not only the path I’ve played through, but also one of the alternate paths I did read in code only. It is very spoilery though, so I’ll leave it for the end of my post, and start with the usual bugs and other issues, if that’s okay!

When MC1 talks with the Faceless Guard:

When the Guard talks about all the “issues” with MC1, he says: “Morgan Set… The Guard speculates that you’re not fully aware of your own influence. Your friendship with Mr. Goldendoor draws much attention. The Frontiersmen are well-loved by all in the Colonies, even if they attract subversive elements looking to hide… Surely you’re also aware that your grandfather continues to test what is acceptable from a man of his station…? And you, personally, have been known to sympathize with radical ideas.”
The first segment is wrong since my MC has high friendship with both Laz and Bel. So I should have gotten “Your friendship with Mr. Goldendoor and Lady Ydl draws much attention.”.
I assume it’s because the “((mc1_lazaro_rep >= 55) and (mc1_belvidere_rep >= 55))” condition comes after the “(mc1_lazaro_rep >= 55)” condition in the code. The game checks first for Laz only, then for Bel only, and then for both. So I guess it’s impossible to get the line where the Guard talks about both, since it would automatically mean the conditions for Laz would be fulfilled and thus the line related to him would appear without the game checking for any “else if”'s.

The Sovereign's discourse:

At some point, he says: “Though, regretfully, we must steer the topic of discussion to a more… sober… topic.”
Repetition of the word “topic”. With how much the discourse must have been rehearsed, I don’t think that’s intentional. If it is, at least if MC1 is a radical, maybe they could make a mental note of the little blunder or something?

After the "incident", if looking at the crowd:

“${mc2_name} was expecting that even less than you were, and as a result is currently groaning on the ground, having been knocked back by the blast. Beyond ${mc1_himherthem}, you just see complete devastation – frightened civilians, broken windows, and bloody pavement.”

It should be “${mc2_himherthem}”, no? :thinking:
My MCs are both guys, so it wasn’t an issue when playing, but I’ve noticed that in the code.

Confrontation with the Guard:

Once the MCs have joined the radicals in the conflict, and they’re sent to protect Unifier, why can’t we follow the “outwit” plan? It’s the one that most fits my MC1, I feel, but it’s dismissed and then it defaults to the diplomacy path… :thinking:
It’s the second best fit so I don’t mind it much, but I’m mostly confused, since it seems both diplomacy and fighting have an actual “route”.

If going for the MC1/MC2 romance:

So, this is not really an error per se, I think, but when camping alone, and choosing for MC2 to initiate the flirting, and for MC1 to reciprocate, there’s that: “${mc2_name} replies while blushing”
Is it really visible when the seal people blush? :thinking:
It may show on their nose or something, eh! I’m not claiming it’s impossible or anything, but I prefer to ask anyway. My MC2 has pale skin despite his black fur, so his nose can probably become redder if that’s what you’re going for! Which is so cute…

When coming back to Laz with the sword:

This is the same issue as the one with the Faceless Guard before. It says: “At first, he just looks relieved to see you safe.” while it should say “At first, he just looks relieved to see you and ${mc2_name} safe.”
The code is the same - individual lines about Laz being relieved for MC1 then MC2 are placed before the one where he’s relieved for both.

In the "ending":

I’ve read that part in code only, but I believe there’s an error here:

*if (mc1_radical > 50)
One can speculate that, given ${mc2_hishertheir} beliefs, ${mc2_name} joined up with the radicals. If that was the case, then ${mc2_heshethey} likely died before rising to any prominence.

It is uncertain if anyone even cared to mourn ${mc2_himherthem}.

It should be “if (mc2_radical > 50)”, no? :thinking:

The last line of the "ending":

“The eager world watches, and waits, for a truly free world…”
Maybe the repetition of “world” could be avoided?

Well, I think that’s it for the issues or doubts I’ve encountered!
I have one question though!
Do deer women have antlers too? And in general, do the antlers fall and regrow depending on the time of the year? Yeah I know, this is very very random, especially since my MC2 isn’t even one of them.

Some random musings:

I was thinking about it again, but I really like the relationships in this game, in general. Thinking of my MC2’s relationship with his sister. He’s the gentlest and most open minded boy that can be, and he truly tries to get along with his sister, he always tries to mend their relationship. But their personalities are SO incompatible, that despite his good intentions, she still hates him, and he can’t really do anything about that. Unless he’d be willing to fully change himself, but things don’t work that way.
I don’t usually like it in games when no matter how nice MC is to someone, that person may never reciprocate, but that’s because it never really felt natural and organic in any other game with that “system” that I’ve stumbled upon so far. It alwats felt gratuitous and like it was forcing to min-max stats and personality values in order to get a specific RO to like your MC. Here, I really only have to let my MCs act in a natural way and stay true to themselves, and the relationships form on their own, and FEEL natural. So no matter if a relationship is good or bad, it’s interesting and something I wish to see more of.

Some VERY spoilery musings:

So, I remember you said we’ll get to meet Blythe even if our MC1 was full radical, but that the circumstances would be unexpected… YOU WERE NOT KIDDING!!! Oh my god! That left me floored!
I didn’t actually get to talk to him in game since I followed the other path, but I’ve read the code for parts of the route where MC1 meets him, and even that alone, woah. :scream_cat:
Part of me felt sorry for him when the “incident” happened, but at the same time… he’s a horrible horrible person! So I’m so conflicted… I mean, he IS the enemy and I can’t say I like him, but I still have SOME sympathy, I guess. His reaction to what happened broke my heart a bit. That doesn’t lessen the hatred I feel because of his subsequent actions though…
I’m really curious about his romance now, though… I wouldn’t be able to go that path, really - it’s too awful - but it’s kind of interesting considering his position.

I have also come to realize while playing the new content that my MC1 shares some personality traits with Freeman, in a way? I remember when we talked about how Freeman is so obsessed with his cause that he’d never even think of himself, of love, and things like that. It may not be as extreme for Morgan, but the fact remains he was very much focusing on the rebellion itself, once he found himself truly thrown into that, and didn’t even notice Aa’rp trying to flirt with him, at first. Now, he DID reciprocate when he understood, but I see it as “not noticing his own feelings until they were ‘challenged’ in a very obvious way”.
And I have to mention I love how clumsy and “innocent” that entire scene was - clearly none of them truly knew what they were doing, and they didn’t even DO anything aside from sleeping with their backs touching. I think it added a lot to the impact of the scene.

That aside, I was both shocked and amazed to see MC1 could die at this point! Not to mention how things spiral down from that moment. :sob:
Obviously, this is also something I did read in code only, since it would have required to stay with Blythe, but man that was crazy (and heartbreaking, in the ending segment, with the reactions and stuff). Like, that ending genuinely made me cry even though I didn’t actually PLAY through it (but I did read specifically the segments I’d actually get, if I did play).
Now I’m kind of considering branching my playthrough around that point, and going for a confirmed member of the rebellion in one of them, and a radical saboteur hiding in the Sovereingty, as dangerous as it may be, in the other one. I wouldn’t go for the bad ending, obviously!

Interestingly though, aside from character reactions, another thing left a huge impression on me, in the ending - “Eventually, though, the last heir of Whitaker died by tripping over his royal cloak and falling on the holy blade Unifier.”
This is… crazy. In all sorts of meanings for the word.
But crazyness aside, I really like the fact we truly got an exposition of what happened from then on, not only for the various people MC1 met, not even only for the rebellion and this generation, but also for generations to follow. The entire History unraveling itself as a chain reaction… Chef’s kiss!
If you’re planning on doing that for ALL endings to come - as I’m sure we’ll get plenty of other “bad endings” before reaching something more satisfactory (in a more traditional way) - then I’m really even more amazed by this game than I was before.

Anyway, I think that’s it.
Sorry, it was VERY long, but that update did really leave a VERY STRONG impression on me… Just… wow.

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Lázaro is my absolute favourite angry soft boy. Although I am here to eat up the soulmate trope with the worlds biggest spoon, I can’t help but go mushy over him.

It’s a lovely update, and it’s nice watching the plot begin to unfold. I mean geez, the angst we can create by making a few choice decisions when the group meets up in the hideaway. My gentle hearted rebel sympathiser is not doing so well, they went in with rose tinted glasses and are shocked with the reality. Great angst and love. The camping scene with my mc’s and the tent scene with Lázaro were very sweet.

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Wow, thank you so much! O:

Thank you, too! I am planning on finishing this one, don’t you worry! (;

Fixed!

Responses to errors collapsed because spoilers

Fixed/changed to make more sense!

Responses to other comments collapsed because spoilers

I felt like I had accidentally written the “diplomacy” path as more of an “outwit” path, anyway, and decided to keep them the same because if the “diplomacy” path were more of a traditional “why can’t we get along?” route, I don’t think the First Guard would pay any attention to it, lol.

It’s up to you! I like the nose-blush idea, though!

Yes. The presence or absence of antlers is seen as a symbol of masculinity or femininity, respectively, though whether or not someone has/does not have antlers at a given time does not necessarily mean they are the gender associated with their antlers.

That’s correct, though the specific time varies per individual.

Thank you! And yes, it’s sometimes sad for me, too, to write interactions between people that might not change no matter how hard you want them too (because that’s just how some people are). ):

Blythe is a horrible person (and none of this excuse/justifies his subsequent actions), but his father, Faceless Guard, Hierarchy, and governmental ministers are all also horrible people. He’s spent some nineteen years surrounded by deferential people walking on eggshells around him because they don’t want to piss off the Sovereign, and so doubled down on his own self-superiority. He knows what he is doing, though, and like MC1’s brother, he just doesn’t really care.

It’s going to be a whole lot of awkwardly standing around, I assure you. (;

Freeman is a… complicated… guy… His devotion to his brother and their cause can somewhat be explained by his feelings of (completely untrue, as in what he did would never have upset anyone, but he feels like it would, regardless) guilt surrounding an as-of-yet unrevealed event.

When I finished The Paths to Greatness, a lot of people told me that they felt their character should be able to directly defy Emperor Maganat, and I left out that option because, well, he would definitely murder them, and I didn’t think that would be a very satisfying ending. I put it in These Reluctant Years with a sort of compromise, I think, with the “no hey really if you say this you will definitely die” warning to let players know what they’re actually choosing.

I am a sucker for irony. (;

Yes – I always like my epilogues to say what happened to the player character(s) (when applicable) and the rest of the people they’ve met!

Ahaha – thank you for the kind words!

Thank you! And yes, there will be maximum angst potential in some of the romance routes… particularly if you choose to be a saboteur.

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A couple more things, then…

Under the cut again, since that's STILL spoilery as heck!

I actually never heard of that one, wow… Well then, I’ll have to check it out too!

Yes, I like that compromise. In a visual novel or if the game was on Twine, with the possibility to save, such a warning wouldn’t be useful, but you can’t really avoid it on CScript. I’m glad you put it in, even if I did read it in code only. I’m a sucker for that kind of tragic endings!
In a morbid way, I also like the difference in MC1’s execution, depending on if Blythe likes them or not.

Oh man :rofl:

And thanks for the anlter answer!

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It was, uhh… let’s just say it’s not my most popular release…

Lol, me too! At least sometimes

You’re welcome! (:

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I was just wondering if the MCs or other people around them will say anything if you make them look alike kind of like how in the Fallen Hero games where if you do that with the MC and the puppet people will mistake the puppet for the MC or make comments that the puppet reminds them of someone.

Also if both of the MCs are trans will they have a conversation about that or even just a moment of happiness that they have found someone who can understand them in a way as no other could so far?

And does the MCs sexes, genders, looks and personalities matter in terms of gameplay and story seeing as they have a bond as two who are one or does any of that not matter?

And I’m sorry if this doesn’t make that much sense I have dyslexia so I’m not that good at putting thoughts into words.

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I can do that. There hasn’t been much time to have a sit-down conversation in the narrative, as it is currently, but they’ll eventually get a chance to rest and just talk.

It doesn’t inherently matter to either of the player characters, personally. By this, I mean that while your description and personality may make certain choices/relationships (un)available to you, there isn’t really anything that has to happen just because MC1 and MC2 are similar or different. If both MC1 and MC2 are considered “deviants”, that doesn’t automatically make them side with the radicals, even though it might make more sense for them to.

It’s fine – I’m pretty sure I understood what you were saying! If not, then please feel free to post again and I’ll try to clarify! (:

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I’m not sure if you stated this before but will there be polyamory if you romance multiple characters? And/or love triangle shenanigans??

Because everytime I replay the demo I find myself flirting with myself as I’m romancing another character lol.

Idk why but the ability to control two characters has caused me to put my cliche pairing of uwu soft bby with snarky edgy emo boy everytime when I’m playing this lol especially when paired with romancing Laz(with my MC1 adoring him while MC2 despises him only being there for MC1’s sake)

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I’m not quite sure about that first one, yet, but there will probably be at least some confrontation between characters if you’ve expressed romantic interest in more than one.

That’s not a bad thing – it means you like yourself! (:

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This is a great read, and I look forward to the rest of the novel.

My only qualm was that being ideologically radical prevents you from joining the sovereign’s side of the civil war… I like making my character amenable (making friends with the other characters shifts you to become more radical), and it should not prevent me form helping the new sovereign (even if he is a twit, haha) or writing about the what I want in the exploration journal. Other than this it is a splendid book.

All the best and thanks.

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Might I ask if you happen to remember what your stats were/what route you took when this occurred? You should be able to join the Sovereignty no matter what your ideology is, and after play-testing through to the latest chapter myself and checking the code, I was unable to replicate what you experienced.

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I can’t remember my exact stats, as I have already replayed it a few times, so I can’t check, but I went to the radical college and was friends with everyone I met. I was also kind, radical, outcast, and worldly. When the sovereign was bombed, I approached Blythe Ond and he told me to run or he will kill me… so I left was forced to flee with the rebels. Thanks again,

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He will only do that if you have less than fifty relationship with him. Putting aside your personal feelings and sucking up to him initially, or else being completely neutral will make it so you can join the Sovereignty as a radical. If I had to guess, I would say that you asked him whether he was feeling all right, and that pushed you into the negative with him. Blythe does not like overt expressions of camaraderie, even if they do make him feel better.

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If this isn’t asking too much, would it be possible to add an option, after we meet our brother for the first time, to go from excited to meet him to hating him? I wasn’t bothered by the drinking or the messy room, etc. but the way he referred to the woman he slept with as “some tart,” and then ESPECIALLY calling our mother “filthy and subhuman,” made me want to punch him. my MC was excited to meet him at first, but after this interaction the harshest option seemed to be saying “I might’ve been too optimistic,” or “I feel sorry for him.” I don’t feel sorry for him, I feel disappointed and pissed at him. My MC went out of her way to be super kind and polite, and he refers to her mom as filthy and subhuman to her face.

Edit: also maybe a chance to narc on him to dad without being so blunt as “‘He’s a piece of shit slob and a waste of good oxygen,’ I declare.” Like, maybe telling him the facts of the state of his room with empty bottles everywhere, and the random woman in his bed. I don’t like the dad either, but I want him to know his precious heir with “pure” blood is a mess, without making myself look as petty as I actually am lol.

Ofc, this is asking a lot, so feel free to ignore!! The options as they stand are still great, and this isn’t necessary, I’m just asking bc I’m petty lmaooo

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The option to tell your father that “[h]e’s a piece of shit slob and a waste of good oxygen” was kind of my way of allowing the player to hate on him. That particular option will always be available, regardless of any of your relationships, so it will be there no matter what your initial perception of your brother was.

The father’s response to “[h]e’s a piece of shit slob and a waste of good oxygen” is:

Father sighs, finding your answer not entirely unexpected. Surprisingly, he doesn’t look particularly upset by what you’ve said, as if he is considering your words merely as a statement of fact.

“Still, then…?” he mumbles wearily. “Carry on, then, MC1…”

So he pretty much already knows that MC1 is completely correct when they tell him that, lol. Their whole dynamic is supposed to be indicative of the things the nobility is unwilling to change (even when it would objectively be better for all involved if they did). So, rather than allow MC1 (who is potentially a woman, a bastard, a “deviant”, “sub-human”, a radical, or all of the above) to be the “official” heir of their house and deal with the familiar shame that would come from that, they grin and bear it with the “legitimate” heir, even if he is a disgusting, racist, sexist drunk. It’s basically my way of getting across that most of the Sovereignty’s/nobility’s “traditions” are inherently reductive for literally everyone and just don’t make a whole lot of sense in general.

It’s fine! I’m always willing to take suggestions, and I will always consider them, even if I don’t end up implementing them. (:

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oh awesome!! I never selected that option bc, since he and I have never gotten along, it seemed like it was purposefully antagonistic which isn’t my MC’s style, but knowing the father’s mild reaction, that’s exactly the kind of message I wanted to get across, so it’s perfect lol. Thank you for taking the time to respond!

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No problem! I’m glad you found a solution that works! (:

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Can anyone tell me how to get accepted in Sovereign’s Refuge University.
I cant get accepted.

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Thank you for the help.

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