If you have been thinking why I haven't been active lately on Milkcananime, here's your answer: games, school projects, assignments and examinations!
In addition to my recent post on Haikyuu Donpishamatch which you can read here, I have recently immersed in a game called Mystic Messenger. Sounds familiar? Of course! This game has risen to be one of the most popular otome games!
Despite this game being Korea-based, I have decided to mention it on this blog because many people worldwide currently do play it, including Japanese. So, what's the deal with this game? The catch is that it's fully patched in English as far as text in concerned, making it understandable for most of the people globally. Furthermore, it is easily accessible on mobile, and no new devices are necessary to play.
If you're an otome-gamer like myself, you might remember the days when Google Play had otome games on and you would have to wait for days to get a new chapter, or if you were feeling rich, you could always pay a small fee per story to read it immediately... or worse still, you have to pay to get access to the stories! But with Mystic Messenger, the majority of the game is free!
But before I talk about the paid features of this game, let me first introduce some...
The story goes as such: Rika and V started up an organisation, RFA, and in the RFA they host fundraising parties. Rika talks the participants into joining for the party and V contributes his photographs, as he is a famous pro-photographer, and they held many successful parties. The other members as mentioned above helped out too and everyone had lots of fun.
Cue in Rika's death and ever since, V has not been himself. He has changed and is more secretive and participates in RFA's conversations less. They do not hold parties anymore either. The RFA group has split into 2, some doubting V and some all for giving him more time to get over his grief.
Among all of this, a stranger "Unknown" calls you and asks you to go to an address to find the owner of a phone he picked up, and at the apartment you find the RFA's chatroom and you start participating in it. Before long, you realize that you are at Rika's apartment and you have gradually melded into the RFA group. What's next is to take over Rika's job and host a party within a week!
This is pretty self-explanatory, and this is the first screen you see when you start a new game. In a new game, you'll have to start with the original route where you get to choose either the "casual story" or the "deep story". Each features different people.
For the casual story, you get Yoosung, ZEN and Jaehee while for the deep story, you get Jumin and 707. For a better interpretation of the members, let's look at the next image~
From left we have: Jumin, ZEN, 707, Yoosung and Jaehee.
A brief one-liner description of the characters are as follows: Jumin is the handsome heir to a corporation and he loves cats. ZEN is an actor famous for his looks and talents, but he is a little (too) narcissistic at times and he can't find a girlfriend. 707 is a hacking prodigy, however he seems a little crazy at times if you don't get his humor (He is also undoubtedly the most popular character in-game right now). Yoosung is the most relate-able character in this game, being the University student that puts games and entertainment before studies. Jaehee is a female and she is the assistant of Jaehee, she may come across strict and uptight but she is very kind at heart and an avid fan for ZEN. If you progress on ZEN's route, she will come and attempt to talk you out of it.
There is also a character called Rika (who is dead) and V.
Pressing the '?' on Jaehee's right will give you clues as to what the different buttons are for. Though clicking on the RFA's members will give you their profiles.
When they have a changed status, their icon will be colored yellow. The status will give you clues as to whether you should call them. As the game runs on real time, you shouldn't call them when they are busy (i.e. calling them in the morning when their status mentions morning classes).
Why is this important, you may ask? Because calling takes up Hourglasses (HG) which are the "currency" in this game. You may get HG from chats or from purchasing, but if you're stingy like me, you shouldn't waste them on a call that wouldn't be picked up or will be going to the voicemail.
These are all the incoming calls I have gotten so far. I haven't called anyone yet, though calling would help boost your love points a lot.
In calls, you have the voice actor speaking to you in Korean and you can choose to hold your phone to your ear like a normal phone call, use earphones, or put it on speaker like I do. Despite it being in Korean, there are English subs for every line they say, even when you have to choose between options to reply them. I recommend focusing on the subs and reply first, then review the conversation later.
By pressing the white play button, you will be able to hear the conversation all again in its full glory, albeit with your input choices. The green call button is of course to redial, and that will take 5 HG per call, where it can either connect, not be picked up, or just go to voicemail.
Calls typically occur after chatrooms, so stay on your toes.
Chatrooms are chosen based on days which run by real time. Thus the best time to start is at midnight, in order to get 100% for all your days. There's no typical significance to getting 100%, at least so far for me, but it gives you more exposure to the storyline, more interaction with the characters and more time to bond with them.
Also, the route branches after the last chat on Day 4 and the character's whose route you are on will appear on the blank "RFA" space under the 100% from Day 5 onward. To safely get on a non-bad ending route in the "Casual story", you have to bond a lot with one of the three (ZEN, Yoosung and Jaehee) -- the bond cannot be similar. You will also have to lay low on Jumin and 707 because you can't play their routes via the Casual story (only in Deep Story). Doing either of the "DO NOTs" will lead you to having no character shown on Day 5 and onward, and you will be on the way to seeing a Bad Ending.
The chatrooms have rather crazy timings such as 1 a.m. then 3 or 4 a.m. then 7 a.m. I don't know why the game developers think you'll be awake at all those random timings, maybe it's a Korean thing?
Anyway, the above is an image of chatrooms at not-so-crazy timings. You can see that chatrooms open at 17:04 and 19:18 and so on. To put it simply, if you were intending to participate in the 17:04 chat, you have from 17:04 to 19:17 to participate it in!
All the chats which you were in will have an orange border and new chats which you haven't checked will be green. If there are any chats below the green one, they will be grey and you cannot participate in them until you clear the green one first. You can always re-enter a chat in orange and read the conversation with your chosen choices. However to participate in a chat again, you need 5 HG.
You get to choose options in this chatroom style otome game, which is quite a fresh idea, especially one where the chatroom is such a significant (if not only) portion of the game.
Chatroom style conversations are quite realistic and you can pause the chat if the speech bubbles are passing my too fast. "SLOW" and "FAST" help toggle the speed, with the normal being at 6 and "FAST" going up to 9. The top left also has a "Max speed" option if you have read the conversation already.
Hearts are proof of love, and each character has a corresponding heart color. Purple for Jumin, grey for ZEN, red for 707, green for Yoosung and yellow for Jaehee.
And if you haven't noticed by now, not all the RFA members are in a chat at a single time. Occasionally, V comes by as well. I really wish he was a playable character...
Stamps/stickers of each character are used by the respective character. They are animated in the chat, which unfortunately, I can only show via two separate images here. Most of them come with some voice attached as well!
Here's a short display of 707's insanity as well as how the variation in text bubbles and font gives great variation.
Also, the fact that images are sent by them through chats. I currently have the most number of ZEN's pictures and that can be attributed to how he loves to take selfies so...
After finishing the chatroom, remember to click "Sign". Signing means that the system recognizes that you participated in the chat and you can re-read it as many times as you want later on. If you leave without signing, you will require 5 HG to participate in that chat later on.
And yes, you can get HGs from chats. Typically, I get a maximum of 1 HG but I got lucky on this chat! Also, each heart that you get from the different characters will be turned into that gold heart, which you can use to trade in for HG -- 100 hearts for 1 HG, still, better than nothing. Plus, changing between saves doesn't change HG or heart count, even if you load to a save before the chat time. I tried this while attempting to complete both ZEN's bad and good ends at the same time... so try your best to get as many HG as you can!
Why am I going on and on about HG? Well, the reason is simple.
1. Save slots
As a free user, you have access to only 4 save slots and you can unlock another save slot for 50 HG. Of course, I haven't spent any so I'm not sure if the HG requirement scales, but it would be unlikely that that is so.
HG are of course, not only used in this manner.
As I've mentioned before, calling is good for building up relationships quickly and you get to hear their dreamy voices. However, it takes 5 HG per RNG try so I'm not sure how much you value the call. They might call you back if you can't reach them though :)
There are also unlimited calling cards for all the characters are approximately $30, and for individual characters. It differs between characters, with Jumin being at one of the highest at $7+ and 707 being one of the cheapest at $3-4+.
3. Re-entering chats
You wouldn't run into this problem if you save before and after each chat at least, but with our limited free slots, we might run out of space or forget too. HG are spent to re-participate in these chats and chats are a very good way to gain hearts -- gold hearts to exchange for HG as well as love points hearts for your character!
4. Deep Story
Although I put this at the end, this is probably the reason that motivates most people to spend. You need a whopping 80 HG to unlock the deep route which brings you to Jumin and 707's route. They have a separate common route (from what I've heard) and of course, their own endings as well. Their routes also casts more light on the story.
5. Other Features?
There is already mention that other features will be added, but there isn't anything specific yet. Though, I would appreciate V's route, but would that be under "Deep Deep story"? Maybe you'll need 160 HG to unlock it this time round?