Lily of the Valley is a visual novel that came out on Steam on May 5th. It was developed by Ebi-Hime who is also behind This World Unknown, The way we all go and a few more VN. It was also published by Sekai Project who are known for Clannad, NekoPara, Rabi-Ribi, and many many more! Lily of the Valley is a revamped version of an old VN made in 2014 and the two styles (old and new) are available for this version!
This is the story of a man in his thirties who’s mother just passed away. He is staying with his younger sister and his dad in Welsh, but his home is in London where he has a job he hates. Soon after the funeral, he decides to on for a walk where he will meet a mysterious young girl….
The story is a big emotional trip through the main character’s backstory and his current psychological state. The themes involved are his relationships, job and studies, death, sadness and happiness. Each of those are approached with a negative term from his side, but Lily decided to bring some light on some of those. The story can be very provocative for some, but it was very nicely written. It was sad for the most part, but it had it’s moments of cuteness and it really makes the reader think of it’s own perspective. It was also easy to relate to the characters with the many references to our world (such as a comparison to a Disney character or included names of locations).
The art of Lily in the Valley was one of the prettiest I have seen in visual novels. It really helped to create a nice mood with soft colors and great lighting. The palette for the characters was very warm and it brought a sweet touch to each of them. I only wished that more than two characters would have been illustrated. The main character, his dad, the priest and many more could have been added. I do not think there was something to loose from adding more sprites, but it did not bother me either while I was reading.
As for the music, it is pretty loud in the game, but it can be adjusted in the settings. The soundtrack seems to be only with piano songs that sets out the current atmosphere of the game. There could have been more variety in it, but it was still a nice background music.
The way the story was written was really great. This novel really has it’s readers thinking about how they perceive their own life. It’s goal seems to be an attempt to make people realize that they should remember to smile. That even if there are many reasons to be unhappy in this world, there is many great things as well. We simply need to notice them. Although, many people might only see the negatives in the story, I believe that it makes it an interesting conversation starter to many. It definitely had me thinking for a while after I finished it.
This Visual Novel was quite short, less than two hours to complete it with both endings. However, considering it’s very low price, it is a pretty good game time value. Unfortunately, this game locks itself once it is finished. While I do understand that this was an attempt by the developers to make a statement with the game’s ending, I think it was a done a little clumsily. Once you have gotten both endings, a new option will unlock: the epilogue. Once you read it, you won’t be able to play the game anymore, unless you go through your PC files to delete some elements and unlock the game again. I believe the game could have kept this ”no second chance ending” without completely locking it from it’s players. A ”secret” in the last screen allows us to read the Notes, but another one could have been added to be able to play the game a second time. I wished to be able to play the game a little again with it’s ”old” art style and be able to unlock the last achievement that I missed, but going through all the files for it simply does not feel worth it. I highly recommend going through this guide if you do not want to miss on any achievements before the epilogue.
The game overall was great. It had a nice story, it was very well written and it had an amazing art style! It is a game that will make you want to see more and possibly make you look for more from Ebi-Hime. The only downside I could give it was the fact that this game will lock itself in the end, making it unplayable unless some files are deleted. I would still recommend, if an update is made to prevent the game from locking itself to you would be great. However, it is a rather cheap game, only 3.26$CAN and I believe the story was worth giving it a chance!