A first look at The Silent Kingdom’s Kickstarter and demo

The Silent Kingdom is an upcoming otome and RPG hybrid game that is brought to us by a single person working under the name Lucky Cat. They were previously known as Akane, the individual who created a number of fan-made Death Note games, and The Silent Kingdom is their first commercial project.

The Silent Kingdom is taking a strong and promising stance in making an original gaming experience for the joseimuke audience. It’s an otome game that emphasises the player having an integral role in affecting both the narrative and the game’s relationship progression — in many ways, it can be looked on as being similar to something like BioWare’s classic Dragon Age: Origins.

The game’s demo released earlier this month, and with an update on the 27th that bulked it up with additional scenes and improved changes, there is no better time than now to give this title a look into, and we did just that! Thank you for the heads-up, Andrea! See, your contributions to the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page can make a real difference!

Introduction to the world of The Silent Kingdom

The Silent Kingdom

The game is set in Harmonia, a continent believed to be around 400 years old, created by a Goddess of the same name. Harmonia plays host to four main lands, and there is seemingly no way to reach its borders to see if anything lies beyond, since the outer reaches of the continent are covered with a dense, impenetrable fog. Terrors — creatures of the night whose favourite meal is… pretty much anything that lives — are currently causing fear across all these lands due to their rising aggression and numbers.

Crystaria is the main character’s home land: it’s the country that houses the largest army, and one which acts as the centre of commerce.

Fortuna, a neighbouring land ruled by a friend of the main character’s father, is home to the finest fabric makers you can find. Magaera is its princess, and she is someone that the main character is already acquainted with.

Lectica is a strong and prosperous nation nearly on the same power level as Crystaria, but they are a nation which has restricted direct access to itself. The nation instead acts as a middle man for trading mining materials that Crystaria would otherwise be unable to obtain. Its princess, Alecto, is a promising fighter and set to become the leader of the nation’s army.

Finally, Somnia is to the far north, with half of it overrun by Terrors. Its princess, Tisiphone, stays locked within her chamber for her own protection. Thanks to the trading between Somnia and Lectica, the latter nation protects Somnia from further advances of the Terrors.

The four princesses have mysteriously linked origins. They were all born on the same day at the same hour, and none of their mothers survived labour. This has made for a worldwide belief that they are messengers of the Goddess, and the answer to the world’s turmoil.

Players take the role of main character Erinys, sole heir to Crystaria, once she wakes up on her 13th birthday — but she has no recollection of it being so. Instead, she grows concerned that no one within the castle has noticed that she appears to be well into her 20s. Players will meet important side characters during this introduction sequence, including Denise, the maid who had the sole responsibility of raising Erinys, and Chrono, a promising squire with the drive and responsibility to keep Erinys safe. That is, until the truth is revealed, of course.

The Oracle is another important supporting character; she has long served the nation through her visions, and hints to something far more troubling taking place on the princesses’ birthdays. With Erinys’ father kickstarting a war — supposedly to protect her, despite kingdom’s the prior alliances with the neighbouring lands — plus a curse that results in Erinys suffering something of a “groundhog day” situation and a kingdom falling silent (a Silent Kingdom, if you will) as a result of said curse, it’s clear that there is some sort of great mystery afoot. And thus our intrepid heroine sets out on an adventure to restore her kingdom — even if it stains her hands red.

The demo

The Silent Kingdom

The game makes a few surprising revelations right from the outset, and I found these so enjoyable that I’ll refrain from mentioning them for spoilers’ sake. Let’s just say that I got strong Drakengard 3 vibes, with the heroine having to go against her values for the sake of saving her own kingdom — the alternative is leaving it trapped for all of time in stagnation.

The cost of “doing what must be done for the greater good” appears to be a prevailing theme of the game, and the harsh realities of this theme establishes how dark the narrative is likely to go, even just within the constraints of this initial demo.

There is so much intrigue to be found in these two hours of content, and I cannot implore you enough to give it a go for yourself; it really is extremely satisfying and compelling.

As far as my initial thoughts go, let’s firstly talk about one of The Silent Kingdom’s major genre focuses: its RPG gameplay. It is your standard turn-based style, but it still manages to be satisfying, with well implemented magic skill and physical attack animations and great designs in its UI. There’s some excellent sprite work seen in the enemies in particular – the Terrors are suitably named!

There random encounters aren’t too frequent, making for a nice blend between nostalgic gameplay and modern conveniences that will appeal to a wide audience. Perhaps most brilliant, though, is how the gameplay mechanics link to the morality of the main character — similar to how the player’s actions shape the characters and story in games like Undertale. Players who choose to fight are shaping Erinys’ ruthlessness and willingness to shed blood, even if it’s that of the innocent or loyal. The potential of this side of things shaping our heroine as she develops is one of the many exciting prospects of The Silent Kingdom.

On the topic of the main character, her script and overall sense of development is very well done. The game presents a heroine who is strongly influenced by our choices — and the “correct” selections that progress the narrative sometimes feel like they go against the grain compared to other otome titles.

The right answer is sometimes to take a stern approach, which is a very nice change from the more demure attitude we often see from main characters in the genre. Here, we’re encouraged to be vocal and argumentative, and often rewarded for it. It’s entirely appropriate given that Erinys is expected to lead an army and become Queen to her nation — very much unlike how other princesses in the genre remain feeble and innocent!

I cannot go on any further without commenting on the highly enjoyable selection of love interests on offer. The demo features two romanceable companions: the mysterious magician Seneca, and the loyal knight Chrono. While we see Chrono become the Knight in shining armour in the latter part of the demo, his stoic, humble and reserved nature is very much at odds with the morally grey but extremely appealing Seneca; the latter is shaping up to be the standout love interest of the game by a mile. He seems witty but at the same time cunning, and has some of the best dialogue thanks to the charmingly mystifying way in which he speaks.

A third romanceable character may be included if a certain stretch goal is reached on Kickstarter.

There are a ton of CGs across the runtime of the demo alone, and all are high quality, with notably impressive artistic flair — with well-designed proportions, interesting “camera” angles, a variety of colours and some wonderfully intricate character designs.

The OST is also a strong point, with the gentle and soft tracks heard during the game’s more emotional moments effectively helping to get the scenes’ point across.

All in all, The Silent Kingdom’s demo is very promising, and I’m especially looking forward to discovering how the story will progress, how the main character will develop, and what will happen when I return to characters I have already aligned myself with.

In closing: where to find The Silent Kingdom’s Kickstarter and demo

The Silent Kingdom

The Silent Kingdom is marketed as “a dark otome RPG where player’s choices and interactions with other characters set the narrative.” It has a motif of medieval mixed with dark fantasy alongside its marriage of otome and turn-based RPG gameplay. It is expected to release episodically, and has the potential to be rated 18+. It has gorgeous art, with some splendidly illustrated CGs, and beautiful sprite and pixel work. Its main character has a well-established personality that can be moulded to suit player’s way of communicating and thinking.

The demo manages to not overwhelm players with too much lore, but it does provide a suitable teaser for what appears to be an extremely promising product filled with massive potential — with especially impressive worldbuilding and design at the forefront of the experience.

It also scratches the nostalgic itch for RPG Maker games with its turn based gameplay and exploration, but its otome twist adds something unique and original which should be celebrated. And on top of all that, it’s even more impressive that it’s all being put together by one talented creator. I’m very excited to see where it’s heading.

Support the game on Kickstarter before the campaign ends on February 14, and download the demo via Steam or itch.io.

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