The Royal Trap

The Royal Trap is by Hanako Games, the same company that made Long Live the Queen. However, unlike Long Live the Queen, it is not at all stressful! It’s strictly a visual novel, for one thing. No mini-games and little risk of dying.

In The Royal Trap, you’re Prince Oscar’s companion, accompanying him on a trip to the ‘debut’ of one Princess Cassidy; Oscar is one of three princes hoping to marry Cassidy. (Inheritance runs through the female line, so men have to show off and put themselves on display: I really like the world-building in this game, the gender roles that don’t match ours.)

For his sake, and for her to be successful at her job, Madeleine needs Oscar to come off well. But over the course of the game, Madeleine becomes increasingly aware that once Oscar is married, she’s out of a job. That no matter how much affection Madeleine feels for Oscar, their relationship has an end date. And Madeleine needs to make a place for herself afterward.

To up the awkwardness further, Oscar has just given her a letter proclaiming his love for her (in a fairly undramatic, ‘it cannot be’ way.)

So that’s the set-up. The drama starts when Oscar gets hit over the head … and Cassidy gets kidnapped!

The mystery of who’s responsible is revealed halfway through; but when you return to the royal family, you end up with the blame. So the second mystery is why are you taking the fall, and what are they covering up.

I’ve got two of the endings thus far. The first was with Callum, Cassidy’s ignored brother. Callum is kind of callous and violent, but he cares about Cassidy. And I liked his relationship with Madeleine because he seemed to bring out her ruthlessness and pragmatism. And also it meant you got a happy lovey-dovey ending, where Madeleine has a place of her own and a hot husband. (Although I got the ‘normal’ ending, not the ‘good’ one, I think because I broke Oscar’s heart, ha ha ha.) And it feels like you’re more involved with Cassidy and their story.

The other ending I’ve got so far is with Nazagi, one of the other princes come to court Madeleine. I think the Callum ending felt more natural, but I really liked the Nazagi ending anyway. He marries Cassidy, but because Cassidy can’t have children, he ends up proposing that you be his mistress! And having their heirs! You don’t get to know Cassidy so well in this version of the game, but you do end up being her advisor, and this whole ending is basically rife with fic possibility!

At some point I’ll be playing this game again to experience the other endings – especially because they take you on such alternate routes through the second half of the game. I’m sure one of them will explain what’s going on with the assassination attempts!

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