If Disney made an otome game
Normal people: smile hearing the music
Me: cry like a baby – in the opening movie , before the game even started!
Plot driven 4/5
Common route: long (10h) – character routes (5h)
Recommended route order: Paschalia/ Zafora > Ion > Radie > Vilio
The MC Tifalia lives a quiet and content life together with her aunt and furball, as a dragon falls right on top of her. They help the confused dragon find his crew members of the circus, a group entrusted with the task to travel the country and make the magical flowers bloom with joy in order to melt the prince’s heart. Because during the fight against shadows, evil creatures born from feelings of sorrow, the prince froze his heart 10 years ago. And ever since the people offer flowers to him, which bloom when the heart is filled with joy. But as these small flowers didn’t seem to help so far, the kingdom established this circus to make more powerful and joyful flowers bloom.
And for this purpose they assigned a Clown who can’t make anybody laugh, a dragon who can’t control his fire, a water spirit who cannot use magic and an acrobatic who cannot entertain people. And the manager of the circus, Jinnia thinks, what this flashy bunch needs, is a normal girl like Tifalia together with her fluffy mascot.
And so the magical adventures begins on the quest to bring joy to people and find out, why laughter became so rare in these times and days and why the sorrowful shadows keep increasing
In each chapter of the about 10 hours long common route you travel to another city, to find out what prevents the flowers of joy from blooming and how to move the hearts of the people with your emotional circus shows.
The city of the wind spirit is Zafora’s city
He is an informant, who just joined the circus in order to get his hands on something special, as soon as they fulfil their quest. Thus he’s not interested in mingling with the others and is a cold hearted, bad mouthed tsundere
In his hometown there have been strange incidents of people going mad and hence the townspeople are scared to even leave their house. So in his route you have to investigate this political conspiracy and support Zafora on his quest for justice.
Normally I like good tsunderes as melting their heart is a pure joy, but for me Zafora lacked his dere side, which made the route too unromantic for my taste and too much political, which almost rendered the MC helpless and only able to support Zafor by cooking tea, not my ideal relationship.
Paschalia is quite the opposite of Zafora.
He’s very soft and gentle, with a mysterious appearance due to his pact with a water spirit, he somehow cannot remember and consequently is not able to use his water magic. Looking for someone to teach him, he was scouted by Jinnia
But there is this undeniable sadness in Paschalia’s eyes and what does this strange hourglass mean he tends to look at anxiously?
In Paschalia’s route you find out about his pact with the water spirit, which leads to the most romantic route in this game about the power of love.
His character was sweet and luckily voiced by a surprisingly deep voice, which I always appreciate, still he has an apologetic and insecure character, which causes some conflicts and tropes, like the I’m not worthy of you trope, I rarely enjoy.
The route I enjoyed the most though, was Ion’s route .
He is the silent and stern guard, who children or even our MC are afraid of, because of his frightful outward appearance. But he’s actually the most gentle and considerate guy you could imagine, who is a talented cook with a melancholic air around him.
He doesn’t talk much and if asked he much prefers to obey orders, which is also why he joined in the first place.
Oh god, I’m so weak for strong guys with sad eyes, and Ion hit that spot way more than I imagined!
In his route you find out about his cruel and tragic past and I’m certainly not the only one who was reminded of Virche due to some twists and topics.
His route was so immensely sad and tragic, I couldn’t stop crying,
I totally fell in love with his kind heart, lonely eyes and mental strength.
That guy needs a hug – big time!
And luckily he gets what he deserves in his route.
A badass heroine, who is courageous, proactive and fights for him as much as she can – instead of sticking to cooking tea, yes learn Zafora, that’s what you call love and support! Her bold moves in Ion’s route made me admire her so much and really feel the strong love they connect.
And though every route has one rather tame and sweet kiss CG, Ion’s was the longest and most intense, which earns him my most sexy award.
Definitely my favourite route and character in the game.
Though I liked the route order I played in, I don’t think it matters who of these three you play first.
Who I would play last though is Radie.
He has been with Tifalia ever since her parents died and she was taken in by her loving aunt.
In order not to shock her that her cuddly furball also has a human form, Radie tries to hide this from Tifalia.
Hence his route is about how they define their relationship, is he pet, father, brother or lover?
And of course that wasn’t the only secret Radi keeps from Tifalia.
While I generally enjoyed the conflicts in Radi’s route I wished he would have been more proactive and had not hidden behind his role as a father for Tifalia. In my opinion he was in constant denial of his feelings for her, which caused her quite some pain and again the conflict of not feeling good enough for her.
So though this fluffy mascot is voiced by my favourite voice actor of all time, I didn’t enjoy his route as much as I expected. It contains some major spoilers for the story overall, but the personal conflicts felt unnecessary to me and the ending rushed. Nevertheless, the first part of his route was quite cute and romantic.
After you’ve cleared these four routes, the poster boy Vilio unlocks.
He is a dragon, who doesn’t know much about the human way of living and has a lot to learn, getting excited and confused about little customs.
What is weird and a bit annoying about his route, that it forces you to play the common route again in a shortened and slightly different form, so you can’t skip read it – no idea why they made that choice.
His route is of course about his heritage as a dragon and the burden which comes with it. I think his conflict was the least interesting to me, as they also didn’t work together as much as in other routes, but the route was centred about more fantasy aspects and lore of the world with some final revelations.
This is one of the games you might not buy for the plot, but for the art – at least that is how it was for me. If you remember my Radiant Tale announcement video, I wasn’t super hyped, but the appearance of my favourite voice actor convinced me to buy the game – broll that video
We have Yang’s voice actor who voices the furball Radi, similar to his work as a cat in Klap Okamoto Nobuhiko岡本 信彦
I also loved Ion’s voice actor Azakami Youhei阿座上 洋平 you can also meet in Tokimemo 4 as Minoru.
You might know Vilio’s voice actor Uchida Yuuma内田 雄馬 from Olympia Soirèe’s Yosuga, Cendrillon palikA’s Uren or Suzu in Jack Jeanne
He also voiced Dill in Nekopara, where Paschalia Umehara Yuuichirou梅原 裕一郎 voiced Sage, and Benkei in Birushana – wow confused look hence and forth – that’s talent – and Canus in Café Enchantée or Yousuke in Tlicolity Eyes – he really has such a nice deep voice! – makes we want to play his other games – links to the ones I’ve reviewed so far in the description!
And that is combined with some gorgeous promotional CGs by the same artist as Wand of Fortune, Reine des Fleurs or Variable Barricade. And you don’t need me to tell you, that sprites, backgrounds and the numerous CGs just look gorgeous and are probably one of the most beautiful ones you’ve ever seen.
The soundtrack has a handful of stunning tracks as well.
I would describe Radiant Tale as a Disney movie otome game.
It looks bright and colourful and tells a story about an adventure with friends, about the power of love and friendship in a fantasy setting.
It deals with quite heavy topics, if you look closely, but deals with them lightly, without going too much into detail or emphasising the tough parts of the story too much.
That makes the game kind of child friendly, as it teachers heart-warming lessons about the power of friendship or hope. Like – if I had a child I would make it read Radiant Tale, to learn some valuable lessons about relationships and not giving up, being proud about yourself.
On the other hand you might feel that the problems in the common route especially are treated superficially, as some of the problems might have filled an entire game, but here are solved in a chapter. This impression might be confirmed by the convenient use of magic in this game. For most problems there is a sudden magical solution at hand. It isn’t to the extent that it’s self contradictory I think, it’s just very convenient at times – it’s magic !
I personally didn’t feel bothered by either of these points of criticism.
I rather very much enjoyed the common route, telling the emotional journey of how to bring joy to people and teaching sweet, yet important life lessons on the way. All these little stories about the problems of the cities, how they solved them and how each character developed in the process were so moving and heartwarming for me, that I cried at every single circus performance in every of the five chapters of the common route, and enjoyed it so much. It was the best and purest form of happy crying. With a big fat pile of tissues next to me, which was doubled playing Ion’s route.
Me liking the common route that much, leads to something very unusual for me, I think I liked the common route more than some of the character routes. Let me explain why:
I expected the character routes to be slightly more romantic, especially Zafora didn’t make my heart skip. In general I would say the romance is on the lighter side, but their love still plays an integral part.
Then the character routes are a bit short with about 5 hours, which led to some love endings feeling a bit rushed, as the game is generally plot driven, and that plot sometimes suffered from some convenient plot points and overuse of the “I’m not good enough for you” trope, optionally with the addition of “that’s why I must leave you” – trope. *sigh*
In spite of these downsides I think the storytelling was very well paced, you immediately get thrown into the first show starting the prologue and also in the character routes happens quite a lot!
Though I haven’t played Café Enchantée yet, I get the strong feeling that these two games might be quite similar in tone – with cheerful looks, but angsty routes and more lighter romance.
There are two endings for each character – a happy and normal endings. For some characters the normal ending is also good (Paschalia, Zafora or normal (Radie), for some it’s actually a even bloody (Ion) bad ending (Vilio). The normal endings feature no additional CGs, except for the normal, not romantic common route ending with Jinnia.
You can turn the love capture on or off, but with it turned on it’s very easy to raise the affection above half of the gauge to earn the happy ending.
You also have a convenient chapter or skip to next choice jump.
To decide whose character route you’ll get you have to select the map events with the character in order to raise his affection.
The music has the optional, but for learner very convenient feature, that the music turns more silent, when characters are speaking.)
To my very surprise, I would say the Japanese in this game is around a lower intermediate level. You will have to wrap your head around some lore, made up words, or strange katakana words – honestly don’t know which is worse- and some fantasy words, but the majority of the dialogue is more slice of life. To get a better picture, you can watch me struggle with the language in the Radiant Tale streams.
It tells a touching story about the power of love and friendship, self-love and surpassing oneself, learning valuable sweet stories. It’s the Disney movie of otome games, happy and sad at the same time.
And the game itself accomplishes what our main characters set out to do as well: tell a moving story about love and bring joy to the players, I am sure Radiant Tale will be able to make some of the flowers of joy in our hearts bloom.
Read more in my RadiantTale plot summary!
If you find this review helpful, please consider buying the game via my link to support my channel!