Hopefully you’ve not turned away from this post. Anyway, Queen was released on the 22nd of December, 2006 by Good.Job?. It would be naïve to deny my doubts, having been greatly disappointed in G.J? since they released “Tsuma to mama to BOIN”. Despite this, Queen had some promise in the somewhat complex characters and the scenario used this time around. The story involves the present and a medieval kingdom of exactly a thousand years ago. The player takes the role of Sir Lukus, a knight ordered by his liege to protect Juliette, a regent of some random area. There is a history between Lukus and Juliette, since they grew up together. Though Juliette was a year or so older than Lukus, she always turned to him for company and support, thus it comes as no surprise that several years later she starts showing obvious signs of romantic interest in our protagonist. Aside from Juliette, we have several female characters that take an interest in Lukus. Sadly, the love between Lukus and Juliette never plays out, since Juliette’s realm gets suddenly invaded, and everyone in her court gets slaughtered as the first half draws to a close. As the present part starts, the player takes the role of Kasamatsuri Juuji, a high school student who also happens to be the reincarnation of Sir Lukus. Juuji doesn’t remember anything from his previous life, but as the present arc begins, he experiences a lot of dreams of a kingdom from a long time ago, with a regent named Juliette and a knight named Lukus. The dreams make no sense to our protagonist until a girl named Sakurasaka Meguru transfers into his high school. Instead of being secretive about her connection to Juuji, she blatantly tells him that she has been looking for him for a long time, and is very willing to pick up where Juliette and Lukus left off. As such, the second half of the game plays out as a conclusion to any unresolved issues left in the first half.
The lead heroin is obviously Juliette/Meguru. As Juliette, our lead heroin is a bit on the bossy side because of her rank, but at the same time is extremely playful with Lukus. Part of her hates her life as regent, since decorum prevents her from actively getting involved with one of her knights. In the end, Juliette proves to be too kind for her own good, and is the actual target of the invasion. As she draws her last breath, she wishes that she and Lukus could be together in a world that is no longer plagued with war and violence. Because of this wish, she is reborn one thousand years later, and as luck would have it, so is Lukus. Meguru, comparatively, is extremely willing to continue her romance with Juuji, and is glad to be held back by decorum no more. In fact, Meguru is rather brash and notably jealous. At times, she even comes off as disrespectful whenever she doesn’t get her way. Still, the most important thing to her is Juuji, and will do anything she can (and beyond) to please him.
Next we have Rizelle and Kasamatsuri Rin. Rizelle is a head knight, and personal bodyguard of Juliette. Because she is a little older, at times she also seems to be someone who is (discretely) looking after her liege. Rizelle herself is very founded on the idea of following duty, and putting honor and duty ahead of personal feelings. This is why Rizelle keeps her distance from Lukus, even though she is actually in love with him. When the invasion begins, Rizelle sends Lukus away with Juliette, doing her best to help hold off the invaders while they escape. Sadly, her efforts are for naught, but she at least dies knowing she followed her beliefs to the end. One thousand years later, Rizelle is reborn as Rin. Ironically, Rin is extremely irresponsible, often spending her time playing games and watching television. At times, she even skips work just to spend the day playing. Despite this, she somehow manages to make enough money to pay her rent and put up with Juuji. Even though she is Juuji’s cousin, Rin tries her best to be like an older sister to him. She is one of the first people to start trying to push Juuji towards Meguru, which is most likely a remnant of her past role. If Juuji decides to pursue her, Rin feels a bit uneasy at being loved by Juuji, but decides to be a woman instead of a knight this time around.
Next we have Flare/Ayanojo Reiko. Flare was a queen from a neighboring realm paying a diplomatic visit to Juliette. Even though she can’t stand the sight of the younger regent, she tries to be as graceful as she can be under the circumstances. She is initially driven by ambition and the desire to control. Lukus grows suspicious of Flare, especially after Rizelle reports strange things going on near the borders and sightings of foreign infantry and cavalry. At first, Flare tries to brush off the inquiries, but eventually decides to try to seduce Lukus into helping her. Inevitably, Flare begins to doubt her own plans, as Lukus tells her that there are better ways to live than to control other countries in order to prevent conflicts. Despite the doubt, Flare sees the plan through, but tries to lure Lukus away from the castle just as the invasion begins. The lure partially worked, since Lukus dashes off to the castle, telling Flare that duty comes before personal feeling and his duty is to protect Juliette. Sadly Lukus gets there after the invaders have killed Juliette, and battles them to the death. In the midst of the burning throne room, Flare appears and apologizes to Lukus, realizing her own error, and hoping that she can someday make it up to him, wishing to be in a world that is at peace. Thus, she is reborn as Reiko. Reiko is very similar to her last incarnation, since she is orderly and very admired by fellow students and teachers alike because of her demeanor. Some might even say that she has an aura of command around her. Juuji has a bit of a crush on Reiko, but doesn’t act on it because she is his senpai (she’s a year ahead of him). Though she fully remembers everything that happened a millennium ago, Reiko doesn’t act on it until Meguru transfers to the school. The animosity that was not visible between Juliette and Flare is very visible between Meguru and Reiko, though Juuji doesn’t figure out why until later. Reiko fears of telling Juuji about the past, since she is afraid that Juuji/Lukus may not have forgiven her for what happened a thousand years ago. With Juuji in her life, Reiko realizes that even though the world is not perfect, it is good enough for her to follow her heart for once.
Lastly we have Mira/Misaki Suzuka. Mira is Flare’s personal bodyguard, and incredibly skilled with a sword. She lives only to serve, though she shows outbursts of tendencies for violence every now and then. Because of this, some see her as a loose cannon, though for some reason she will always follow Flare’s orders. Not much is known about her, though she and Rizelle have a bit of a rivalry going on between them after meeting in a sword tournament some time ago. She is the one that leads the attack on Juliette’s castle, and is the one who kills Juliette. Her only regret is that her feelings for Lukus were never allowed to manifest because of the circumstances. We fast-forward a thousand years, and we get Misaki Suzuka. Suzuka is the older cousin of the infamous Misaki Renka (meaning that Queen is connected to Akibakei and Seven), and is feared for being a rather sadistic teacher. She loves to give out punishments, and to put her students in embarrassing situations if given the chance. She’s made a habit of punishing Juuji for always being later to class, and is (as expected) a bit brash and terribly selfish outside of the classroom. While she is very aware of the incident from the past, Suzuka feels that she was denied her chance with Lukus, and decides to take Juuji by force. She also does not tell him about the past, instead reminding him that he belongs to her.
The game engine to Queen is pretty standard for a G.J? game, though the brand new feature is a little add-on called the DeJavu system. At times during the story, a character may say something in the past arc that may repeat itself in the present arc. What DeJavu does is keep a log of these lines and keep track of either how similar one girl is to her past incarnation, or how much a millennium has changed that particular heroin (one of the most notable examples is Suzuka, who was incredibly obedient and submissive as Mira, but is disobedient, selfish and sadistic as Suzuka). The other big thing of Queen is the animated H-scenes. Though they have not gotten it through their heads that H-scenes that look like animated GIFs are a bad thing, they are there for anyone looking for that sort of thing.
Queen packs a couple of extras, one being two additional girls that can end up with Juuji (though one is actually an extra and the other has no voice actress assigned to her), and the other is five ero scenes where you can change the voice actress used for its respective heroin. For example, the first ero scene with Juliette is logged, and you can hear the scene acted out by Rizelle’s VA taking the role of Juliette, or Suzuka’s VA, or Flare’s VA. Though kind of pointless, the idea is very interesting, and has a bit of novelty to it.
Musically and sound-wise, the game is decent. Tracks this time around are all original, though some I feel belong in an 8-bit or 16-bit RPG. A couple of the tracks felt really out of place in the medieval setting but worked in the present setting. The voice acting was impressive, since each voice actress had to act out two roles that are somewhat different.
My gripes with Queen include the lack of voice actresses used for some of the extras (like Juliette’s maids and a couple of girls that appear in the present) as well as the speed with which the present arc moves. Personally, it moves too fast, and Juuji is too accepting of the girls’ claims of having been alive with him a thousand years ago. It just felt too hasty to be plausible. Despite this, Queen is an alright game. Just hope the guy that wrote Akibakei Kanojo takes over again at some point, since the plot could have used some work. Anyway, that’s my two cents on the matter.
"come, in tutta la gente, futuro di felicita"