Wot I Think: Long Live The Queen

By Alec Meer on January 10th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

'like an Oscar from a far more fabulous world' - Adam Smith

Hanako Games’ sweetly brutal fantasy monarchy sim came out last Summer, and sadly I missed it at the time. Pray allow me to rectify that before ordering off with my head.

If the art style puts you off, how about this: Long Live The Queen is a Sansa Stark simulator.

Falling somewhere between life sim and interactive fiction, Long Live The Queen is perhaps most analogous to the stream of chance, learning and misfortune that are the Fighting Fantasy books, only the threats come to you and are dealt with more by stately composure, regal dancing and a thorough knowledge of the kingdom’s history than by sword and spell. And if you don’t keep up your singing practice you’re in for a nasty surprise further down the line, young lady.

LEARN SINGING. SINGING IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Playing as the female heir to a monarchist kingdom, what begins as something of a Princess Maker concept, all making yourself courteous and appealing to potential suitors, quickly becomes an exercise in survival against increasingly present and numerous dangers. Long Live The Queen probably should have been called The Queen Is Dead, but as a fight with Morrissey would probably be deeply tiresome, I respect the choice of wry alternative. Long Live The Queen, you see, is all about getting the young queen killed. Clearly you’re trying not to, but like those sadistic Jackson/Livingstone books the game’s trying so damned hard to stack the odds against you and trick you into doom that after a time you’ve just gotta embrace its brutality and enjoy the cruelty of your sudden demises.

LEARN FALCONRY. FALCONRY IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Again, you’re like Sansa Stark, a teenage innocent trapped at the eye of someone else’s political storm, all eyes upon her, a pawn of the patriarchy, trying her best to stiff-upper-lip through a torrent of courtly expectations and skullduggery, expected to be the perfect gentlewoman whilst simultaneously fighting for her life – but too green to truly understand what’s happening around her. Long Live The Queen looks sweet and innocent, but it’s a dark, manipulative spider of a thing. It will trap you in its web, and then it will murder you, many times over.

Here’s the structure. Each turn constitutes one in-game week, and during that time you’ll pick a morning and an evening class from what initially seems like an overwhelming range of choices, be subject to series of scripted events and decisions and indulge in genteel leisure pursuits that will affect your mood. While allowing your wide-eyed charge to become depressed or lonely sounds like a bad thing, in fact each mood provides a learning bonus for specific skills. A depressed queenie, for instance, will get more out of spending time with animals, thus increasing her skills at falconry or likelihood to feed potentially poisoned to chocolates to the dogs rather than eating them herself. Cheerful, afraid, lonely, wilful, angry – positive and negative emotions alike have skills they help and skills they hinder. Choose your mood wisely.

LEARN DOG-HANDLING. DOG-HANDLING IS VERY IMPORTANT.

The essential push and pull of the game is which stats to improve and when, and to knowingly alter the queen’s mood in order to buff singing or presence or archery or knowledge of naval warfare or any of the below as quickly as possible, in the hope of thus being able to deal with the next curveball the game throws at you. Perhaps it will be a requirement to dance at the ball. Perhaps it will be to understand that immediately wearing a necklace given as a gift from a man means you’re publicly declaring him your suitor. This will, naturally, appal any other nobleman who were planning to court you (and the political gain that entails).

Or perhaps it will be being shot with an arrow whilst undertaking a stage coach journey to a foreign dignitary’s birthday party, and attempting to staunch the fatal bleed yourself. Each situation, be it a matter of social peril or mortal peril, can be overcome, but it requires the queen to suitably adept in whatever ability the game deems appropriate.

LEARN BATTLEFIELD MEDICINE. BATTLEFIELD MEDICINE IS VERY IMPORTANT.

The barrage of events and crises comes so quickly and so unpredictably that there’s no real way to prepare yourself or pick a ironclad strategy on your first couple of plays. I think for some people this may be a dealbreaker, because it can feel so much like you’re at the whims of chance and trickery, and because it means you put a lot of time, energy and anxiety into trying to do the right thing only for it to end up wasted and lost when a leftfield death – drowning, stabbing, poisoning, falling, banditry, foreign invasion, sorcery – hits out of the blue.

Assorted colleagues and allies have observed that the death system, the sudden loss of all your investment, is too punitive and too frequent in the game’s mid-to-late stages, as the kingdom falls into all-out war and magic enters the fray. I take their point, but even aside from gesturing archly at the Save Game option I’m enjoying the nastiness, that I’m being so kept on my toes, that I’ve got a game building high drama and blood-freezing dilemma out of whether to spend an afternoon learning to dance or studying foreign politics.

LEARN TO DANCE. DANCING IS VERY IMPORTANT.
LEARN FOREIGN POLITICS. FOREIGN POLITICS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Here’s a mid-game example of everything going spectacularly wrong. I should point out that I’m aware from previous experiences that I’ve very much painted myself into a corner here, which is why some of my choices seem entirely reckless. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

In parallel to the queen learning how to be a queen, I’m learning too, a silent reflection of her graft. I’m learning from mistakes, by which I mean my sudden and usually humiliating deaths. It’s not so convulted that I need a notebook, but it does mean I’m anticipating certain scenarios come my next playthrough and preparing for them. Though that might sound like passionless rote learning, the inherent chaos theory of the game means that I’m activating new and perhaps even more bastardly options from its sprawling database of punishment.

Because I’m trying to force the queen to, for instance, up her sword skills so that she won’t get slain by a vengeful orphan at a prize-giving ceremony, doing so necessitates abandoning my attempts to learn accounting in order to bluff my way into the treasury to obtain an important doohickey. Which means I have to do something else to obtain said doohickey, which turns out to involve Very Bad Things. Or perhaps it means I don’t become adept at flattery, which means I wind up commenting on the sizeable diameter of someone’s breasts whilst attempting Austen-esque scorn.

LEARN FLATTERY. FLATTERY IS VERY IMPORTANT.
LEARN ACCOUNTING. ACCOUNTING IS VERY IMPORTANT.
LEARN SWORDFIGHTING. SWORDFIGHTING IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Every stumble, every embarrassment, every death is being logged in my own personal database, which concurrently with slowly grasping the maths of moods necessary for rapid mastery of skills is eventually going to take me to a point where I can be a queen with a legacy, or at least a legacy more than ‘pathetic pool of blood and/or ash on a castle floor’.

By all this I mean that Long Live The Queen is an exceptionally clever game which asks a great deal of its players without really seeming to. I appreciate that regularly having a lot of hard graft and concentration thrown to the winds can be acutely frustrating, and that progressing further through the game necessitates no small amount of repetition, but I think that’s part of it. I don’t mean that in the ‘better living through suffering’ mandate of a Dark Souls or Dota, but rather that the duty and despair of it all befits the character you’re playing as. Poor old Sansa.

A regent to be sounds glamorous, but surely involves so much devotion, piety, study, restraint, drudgery and terror in order to deal with the unending politicking, conflict and intrigue that swirls and escalates around you and about you. The more you suffer and fail, the more you repeat and the more you feel like Sansa Stark fixing that dutiful smile on her terrified face and trying to make it through another day with her head still attached to her shoulders.

That said, I think the mortal threats perhaps do get a little too thick and fast at times, and while savegames can get you out of a few tight spots it’s all too easy to make critical errors at early points that can’t be undone without starting over entirely, and all the repetition that entails. That actually bothers me less than the inclusion and later important of magic, though. I’d much rather this was a purer (if heavily fictionalised) renaissance-era royalty sim than falling fully into fantasy. I want to focus on learning horse-riding and history and naval strategy and elegance, not divination and spell-resistance.

LEARN HORSE-RIDING. HORSE-RIDING IS VERY IMPORTANT.
LEARN HISTORY. HISTORY IS VERY IMPORTANT.
LEARN NAVAL STRATEGY. NAVAL STRATEGY IS VERY IMPORTANT.
LEARN ELEGANCE. ELEGANCE IS VERY IMPORTANT.
LEARN DIVINATION. DIVINATION IS VERY IMPORTANT.
LEARN SPELL-RESISTANCE. SPELL-RESISTANCE IS VERY IMPORTANT.

But the magic does open up new paths, new story, new suffering, new successes so I don’t really begrudge its inclusion.

My greatest regret with Long Live The Queen is that I didn’t play it before December 1st 2013, because you can be damned sure I’d have fought for it to go in our games of the year advent calendar if I had. The queen is all kinds of dead. Long live the queen.

LEARN EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING IS VERY IMPORTANT.


Long Live The Queen is out now (and has been since last Summer), either direct from the devs or on Steam.

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63 Comments »

  1. Viscera says:

    I got it two years ago directly from Hanako Games (not like it was on Steam at that time) and found it a lot of fun. It’s very trial-and-error prone, though, and heavily relies on learning from your mistakes. It’ll probably take a while until you finish it. Still, procrastination prevented me from ever doing that, so far.

    It’s certainly the best regicide simulator there is.

    On a side note, I really like the tags here.

    • Rally.Plane says:

      It’s probably the most trial-and-error centered game I has encountered.
      During my second go at it after a bit of experimenting with save/load I realized that the only way to approach it is to make a calendar-spreadsheet, marking dates of events and requirements of stat-checks these events do and then to make a leveling plan.

      It was actually exactly like Eve Online skill planning, in eve you form learning schedule around genetic stat resets and implants and here you adjust learning to changes of mood.

    • BlackAlpha says:

      It’s very much a puzzle game. It’s all about replaying the game many times while memorizing the different events that happen and in what order. Then you must level up the skills in a specific order to avoid dying.

      • Lacero says:

        When you say this, it actually makes me think of the Grow games. Anyway, sold on this. I’m a sucker for numbers going up.

    • Angthe1932 says:

      my roomate’s mother makes $76 hourly on the laptop. She has been without work for 8 months but last month her pay was $18909 just working on the laptop for a few hours. why not try this out,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
      http://www.Rush64.com

    • MikoSquiz says:

      It’s pretty much pure trial and error and rote memorization, once you get past figuring out which emotions map to which skills. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book where picking the wrong option leads to death the bulk of the time and each choice involves rifling through the pages for five minutes and memorizing a few dozen digits of Pi.

      Basically, if Princess Maker were absolutely terrible it would be Long Live The Queen. Ick.

  2. Viscera says:

    Also, why does the article say that it’s out since last summer, when it’s out since a longer time? It was released long before it was put on Greenlight.

    • Mirqy says:

      I suppose it’s possible that Alec isn’t omniscient, but more likely I think that he’s dissembling – pretending ignorance so that his enemies underestimate him, and when the moment of crisis comes, that split second of surprise he gains when he reveals his true abilities may just be enough to save him. Maybe.

      • Convolvulus says:

        You give him too much credit. He’s clearly out of his depth, so I’ll make sure to keep him just out of sight on my weak side, as I’m certain he poses no threat whatsoever. When the time comes to dispose of him, I’ll do so with divided attention in a languorous manner.

  3. equatorian says:

    It’s also on GOG, for those who prefer alternatives.

    The game has been on my backlog for a while now as someone who likes both what it pretends to be and what it’s actually attempting to be, and I think I’ll return to it soon. This is one of those games where the extremely cutesy almost-magical girl art style works in its favor, I think. Makes all the deaths so much better when you don’t know whether you found that funny, awesome, or kind of cute in a morbid way.

  4. KDR_11k says:

    Between RPS and TB I’m glad I grabbed this when it was on the Steam sale.

  5. dissentience says:

    sailor moon gfx, meh, sansa stark simulator? f yes.
    gameplay reminds me of acadamagia.

  6. AngelTear says:

    I got their Magical Diary and played it a while ago, not expecting much, simply loving the genre and hoping for one of the few anime-style games on Steam to be good. I came away with mixed feelings: some parts were brilliant, like the dungeon crawling sections with multiple solutions, and others felt like wasted potential or even downright childish. The Harry-Potter-like setting was ok, but many of the storylines felt like poorly-written fanfictions of HP/Twilight relationships. Another thing I found really frustrating was how obscure it felt at times, as when, to activate an entirely different branch of paths, you have to be lucky enough to attend a certain class during a certain day to be proposed for and then (maybe) elected as class president, but you can play a dozen times and never even know the possibility was there unless you look up some walkthroughs.

    The review makes it sound like this is an improvement on a similar system, despite maintaining some of its flaws, so I guess I’m going to try it, eventually, hoping it feels less frustrating. Can anyone say anything about the quality of the writing? Whether it has improved from Magical Diary?

    • briktal says:

      Oh, this is from the same people that did Magical Diary? Someone bought this for me on Steam during the sale, but I barely looked at it. I might have to spend more time with it.

  7. Malarious says:

    I somehow lucked into ‘winning’ on my first playthrough (I focused on fighting, strategy, economics, and magic, and ignored most of the courtly stuff) but that was the only victory I had for a while as I experimented with other approaches. Alas, my demises were frequent.

  8. Smashbox says:

    It sounds shallow, but I can’t ever play something that looks like this.

    • bglamb says:

      There’s a reason that sounds shallow.

      • darkChozo says:

        Eh, disliking an art style is a perfectly valid reason not to play a game — after all, games are a visual medium. It only starts getting shallow if you reject it as “kiddy” or whatever based on the art.

        • The Random One says:

          It is a perfectly valid reason, but it seems to me that this game involves more watching your calendar and reading text dumps of events than watching your anime princess prancing around. That makes it somewhat easier to accept an art style you dislike, I think.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Shallow or not, I’m in agreement with Smashbox. “Chibi” anime/manga, especially as interpreted by Western designers, just really bugs the hell out of me. I’ve avoided dozens of potentially good games because of that creepy art style.

        • MrBear says:

          Just one thing. This isn’t “chibi”, not even remotely. Just because the loudmouthed pommie Totally Boring calls it so doesn’t make it so.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I do worry that they pitched the art badly. The sets of people who respond well to cutesy anime art and people who respond well to brutal political intrigue might not intersect all that much. Then again I have no idea what the Japanese market thinks about these things, so I could be very wrong.

      • AngelTear says:

        Just wanted to point out that the dev is not Japanese at all. It doesn’t say whether she’s European or American or from elsewhere, but her name is Georgina Bensley. Her games aren’t particularly pitched at a Japanese Market.

        On a related note: won’t try anything anime? Too bad, you’re missing out on an entire culture of good stuff in a variety of media (Games & VN, Anime, Manga etc.). What would you answer if I said that I won’t play some western Masterpiece (Baldur’s Gate, Planetscape etc.) because, ugh, Western Medieval Fantasy? I for one don’t like the art-style of western comics, but that didn’t stop me from reading V for Vendetta, and letting my aesthetic preference get in the way of me enjoying an awesome piece of art would have been shortsighted to say the least. I could say the same of Braid, which is one of my favourite games of all times.

        You can dislike a part of a work and still enjoy/appreciate the whole. The art style is just a part (sometimes significant, something less so) of almost any game.

        (I mean this more as a general discussion than as “This particular game is a masterpiece”)

        • SillyWizard says:

          As grand as it would be for everyone (or most people) to be willing to overlook their personal preferences in order to enjoy clever things, I don’t think it’s fair for a person trying to sell me something to expect such a thing from me. Developers (of anything) need to know their demographic.

          In this case, the grognard number-cruncher demographic that would very likely love to play a regicide-sim would very possibly not give this game a second glance, because it has insipid, totally dissonant art-assets.

          Sure, it’s what’s-her-face’s game and she can do what she wants. If what she wants is, by any chance, to monetize her product to its maximum potential, perhaps using a different art style would have been a good idea. (It’s very possible that wasn’t her goal, and I personally see value in a cutesy art style for this product, though anime wouldn’t have been my choice, simply due to its inherent polarizing effect.)

          • Eight Rooks says:

            because it has insipid, totally dissonant art-assets

            I bought it in large part because I thought the art was really strong. Consistent, good use of proportion, balanced colour palette, UI that didn’t make my eyes bleed. Unless by “insipid” you mean “anything I don’t like/ewww, pink and cutesy things are for girls, ewww”, in which case carry on.

            I’ve never understood the idea that any kind of subject matter that’s SERIOUS BUSINESS needs to be represented by SERIOUS GRAPHICS. There was an old quote from Mamoru Oshii where someone asked him why he altered the look of Ghost in the Shell for his films versus the original manga, and he said (paraphrased) “you can’t tell a serious story with cute characters”. Utter rubbish. Perhaps if he wasn’t such a killjoy he might actually make a few more films that weren’t as boring as sin. (But I digress.)

          • AngelTear says:

            It’s a matter of where you’re arguing from, I think. From the standpoint of “how much it will sell”, sure, you need to do demographic research and stuff (but then the product won’t be yours, it will be a sort of consumer wishlist). From a more artistic point of view, you kinda do your thing as a form of self-expression and then put it out there, I believe.

            But most importantly, from the point of view of the end user, denying yourself of something clever/enjoyable etc. is simply missing out. It’s your loss; it’s also one less sold piece for the creator, but it doesn’t matter much to you as a person; it matters more that you’re denying yourself a lot of possibilities of personal enrichment.

          • darkChozo says:

            It’s pretty important to note that this is a visual novel/life sim whatsit. That is a genre that is almost entirely made up of games in the anime style, and as such your target audience is largely made up of people who are fans of that style. It’s a niche genre but it’s a niche genre with some rather well-defined tastes.

            You could maybe argue that this should have been in a more serious anime art style as opposed to the somewhat cutesy fare here, but I don’t think arguing for a completely different art style is necessarily sensible. Sure, you might drive away some people, but a good number of people who would not buy a game because it’s anime probably wouldn’t pay attention to a VN anyway.

          • Wisq says:

            I actually love it when someone comes up with a brilliant game that is quite obviously going to turn off a lot of potential players. Why? Because it means they’re following their artistic vision and designing something unique, something they would want to play, instead of just pandering to expectations and the market.

            Obviously, I also fear for their financial success, but I trust that if they made something so obviously niche, they know what they’re doing and aren’t digging themselves into a hole.

            Personally, I’ll try pretty much any game, any style, if I’ve got a pretty good idea that there’s a solid and exciting game at the core. And in doing so, I’ve come to appreciate games and styles I probably wouldn’t have done, otherwise. That “I’ll try (almost) anything (at least) once” philosophy has found me a lot of gems I wouldn’t have otherwise known about — food, games, movies, etc.

            I’ve been recommending LLTQ to everyone I know — friends, coworkers, etc. Most people laugh and think I’m joking. A few of them actually go buy it. I have had nothing but positive responses from those that do. My hope is that, as more people release quality games with deep gameplay but potentially off-putting art styles or other design choices, the more acceptable those styles and choices will become.

            In other words, LLTQ is exactly what we need to break out of the mainstream rut we’re in. Anyone who wants to deprive themselves of that because “oh noes pink anime” is just hurting themselves.

            Maybe someday, they’ll learn. Until then, it serves as a great way to measure how open-minded my friends and colleagues are.

          • Muzman says:

            I think Chozo has it. The style has a pretty strong following in visual novels and relationship games and other romantic stuff (which this touches upon). It just so happens this has a little bit of Crusader Kings at its heart, apparently. Which I think is sort of hilariously brilliant really

            Maybe it could have a wider appeal if it looked different. But that’s like telling a breakout punk band they need a disco remix if they want to make it. .

          • SillyWizard says:

            But most importantly, from the point of view of the end user, denying yourself of something clever/enjoyable etc. is simply missing out.

            It may be missing out, but there’s an opportunity cost for playing the game. I personally have a low tolerance for anime in general, and Marianas Trench-low for certain types of anime (including that in this game), specifically. I am missing out by not playing the game, yes.

            Should I play the game, I would be missing out in that I could otherwise not be playing something that makes me want to tear out my own eyeballs and feed them to Pickle, my evil calico cat.

            (And @Eight Rocks, by insipid I mean vaguely-uncomfortably-loli overly-tropic knock-off anime. As I stated in my original post, I think that having a cutesy art-style perfectly sets of and contextualizes the brutality of the gameplay, here. I just personally have no stomach for this particular cutesy art style, and since I like to make all assumptions of the world through a filter of my own prejudices, I wonder if the aesthetic choices made here for what is already an extremely niche title might be of more hurt than help.)

            And finally, @Chozo: the gameplay to me seems to have more in common (at least in spirit) with Crusader Kings 2, as Muzman mentioned, than with visual novels which I readily admit I have not played. I certainly won’t try to say that the game is something which visual-novel lovers wouldn’t be drawn to; just that the art style for some will be a greater deterrent than the gameplay is a draw.

          • Ich Will says:

            Silly Wizard, it’s OK to not like something but you don’t have to be a dick about it.

            Deliberately using negative and insulting terms to describe it is how you are being a dick about it.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Just to clarify: this isn’t a criticism of the game, which seems ace, more a question as to whether it’s pitched at the right level to maximise the enjoyment/sales potential of its audience.

    • Ross Angus says:

      I have to admit, I struggled with “To The Moon” because I hated the art style.

      Sorry: I never had those 8-Bit consoles as a child. I am not nostalgic for their art style.

    • Vinraith says:

      Honestly, the fourth screen shot in the article is more than reason enough to pass all by itself.

    • equatorian says:

      As long as you recognize that it’s just your preference and have never, ever criticized Japan for using ‘girls who look like they’re 14′* or ‘pretty boys who look like girls’ or ‘too much cutesy’, then it’s fine. It’s just your artistic preference, and we’re allowed to have that. Ignoring a game entirely because of it is perhaps not ideal, but it’s the same reason why certain genres sell poorly at certain places.

      Like how games with too much gritty, rugged, or American Comics-styled art direction tends to sell poorly in Japan.

      We’re allowed to have preferences as long as we don’t ridicule each other. It’s fine.

      *I am against the use of actual lolis as an object of sexual tiltillation, but that arguments often covers girls who look perfectly legal for Japan as well, simply because the Japanese and Western perception of age from facial features are different. I still remember the amount of brouhaha from that one time they adjusted Mirror Edge’s art so that it looks ‘more Japanese box art’.

    • mouton says:

      First dozen seconds of this video should work for you very much
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeSm9qPBSJM

  9. vecordae says:

    I enjoyed this one. The aesthetic is pretty much “pink magical anime princess” which I find entertaining when juxtaposed against the game’s dark and brutal themes. The game’s events play out as a narrative driven and modified by numerous skill checks. While this means the story’s progression is quite dynamic, it also means the writing is a bit clunky as a result.

  10. MarkB says:

    I feel super validated by this WIT. I played this last year and loved it, but I haven’t had the guts to recommend it to anyone because there is a 99% change the art style would make them think I was crazy.

  11. Yargh says:

    Got this in the holiday sale on Steam, most enjoyable. Very much a descendant of the Fighting Fantasy books of old where sudden death lurks around most corners.

  12. Henson says:

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this one in the last few months. Might be worth a look.

  13. rolandormcquiston says:

    my buddy’s step-aunt makes $82/hour ℴn the internet. She has been fired from work for 6 months but last month her pay check was $13120 just working ℴn the internet for a few hours. lℴℴk at this web-site….. http://www.dub30.com

  14. Baf says:

    One thing I found striking was the effect that repeated deaths had on my play style. When I first started playing this game, I tried to make choices that would benefit the people of my kingdom and generally play the good guy. The more I died, the less this was the case. I became downright bloodthirsty. You’ve brought me a prisoner? Off with his head! I know from a previous play-through that he’s actually innocent? Off with his head anyway! Hey, it’s not like it’s permanent. He’ll be alive again after I die and restart the game, just like the player character.

  15. elevown says:

    Actualy played most games by this dev- bought from their site long before they appear on steam. Most of them are pretty good to very good, but though I like the art here, the gameplay and subject arnt my thing this time.

    Looking forward to more of their releases though.

  16. Hathouty says:

    Google is paying 75$ per hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. On Sunday I bought themselves a Alfa Romeo from having made $5637 this month. Useful site…>> http://WWW.BAY93.COM

  17. Hencts says:

    my classmate’s mother-in-law makes $87 every hour on the computer. She has been without work for 10 months but last month her payment was $21413 just working on the computer for a few hours. read,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, http://www.Bay95.com

  18. Strabo says:

    I liked it and played it obsessively for about 8h. It unfortunately boils down to learning the flowchart inside and out. Since the events are always the same you can only raise the correct skills via trial & error until you survive one event and die at the next. Which means the replay value is very low once you have figured out one way through the flowchart.

    PS: Magic. It trumps everything. Learn it and you are on your way to success.

    • Gap Gen says:

      This was my biggest worry about this; whether it was a simulation-style game where you could figure out good strategies to stay alive, or whether you just min/maxed the right skills by chance to avoid death at the right times. One is fun, one is not.

  19. DrScuttles says:

    Someone needs to make a game in this sort of style set in the fiction of Dune. But as that will likely never happen I shall have to check this out whilst secretly dreaming of being the Queen of Dune.

    • Gap Gen says:

      I’m guessing you played the first Dune game? Not that it’s identical, I agree, but still (and you’re right that an intrigue game on Dune would be ace; maybe a CKII mod?)

    • LionsPhil says:

      It certainly sounds like an interesting premise for a game that’s been ruined by its wannabe-Japanese-ness and poor mechanical execution (if people can crucify 1989′s Rick Dangerous for being learn-by-rote-or-die, this has no excuse).

      It will be interesting to see if it inspires someone to do better.

  20. thedosbox says:

    My greatest regret with Long Live The Queen is that I didn’t play it before December 1st 2013, because you can be damned sure I’d have fought for it to go in our games of the year advent calendar if I had.

    So, hopefully a candidate for 2014 then?

    I’ve only managed to survive to coronation once, but the game is superb at rewarding you with new and hilarious ways to die.

  21. Wisq says:

    I do wish the game had a “new game plus” mode that let you restart with some progress retained — a few skill points here and there for every win, or even for every death (scaled to how long you survived, with a bonus if you win). It would make it a lot easier to experience new endings if you didn’t start from scratch every time.

    In fact, I wished that enough that I started just doing it. I played ironman style, logged every death or win to a file, and used those files to calculate bonus points, then allocated them to random skills. Each playthrough started me with a randomly allocated bonus, meaning I ended up going down routes I didn’t expect and likely wouldn’t have been prepared for.

    Sure, it’s totally cheaty, and a very different experience from playing the game vanilla each time. But I’m perfectly willing to cheat and alter a game’s mechanics if I disagree with how they should operate.

    • Nixitur says:

      Y’know, that’s actually a really good idea.
      Sure, there’s value in playing a game the way it’s meant to be played, but I value “having fun” way higher than that. It’s essentially the same as house-ruling in board/card/tabletop games.

  22. thedosbox says:

    I do wish the game had a “new game plus” mode that let you restart with some progress retained

    There are multiple save slots, so you can save/reload your current progress as much as you want. You can even name each save!

  23. RiffRaff says:

    The comparisons with Sansa Stark are a little inaccurate aren’t they? What I mean is that I see what you are going for but Sansa is a bird trapped in a cage, she cant really do anything to influence events around her, or make decisions about policy, or even her everyday life (I haven’t watched series three I don’t know if this changes don’t you spoil it for me don’t you dare). meanwhile the queen to be here is absolutely in charge of her kingdom. be it finances, military, law enforcement, she can basically force people to marry her and sentence people to death on a whim. So sure I can see what you were going for, but its really more of a “what if Joffrey was a magical girl” simulator.

    Also you don’t need magic, not to post spoilers or anything but you can get through the final encounters with singing, or just being a good commander. You can actually completely ignore magic if you want and still come out on top.

  24. mooken says:

    If you purchase from the devs, enter your license key at nettle for a steam key.
    See http://nettle.spikycaterpillar.com/ and http://hanakoforum.nfshost.com/community/viewtopic.php?p=14630#p14630

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