The purpose of this thread is sort of free-form, I guess, for discussing both the plot, routes, and characters; as well as to discuss the battling system; and just about anything else related, I guess.
I'll start off with my, personal and highly subjective, rating of which routes I preferred, and some of the basic reasons why:
First, the order I went through the routes was Lencia, Iry, Mistie, Tira, Anna, Kahlua.
For top girl, I have to go with Kahlua, the succubus. To be perfectly honest, the first time I met her I really liked her character design. When I was browsing the gallery and discovered she had an empty page, and thus was a choose-able heroine, I was absolutely thrilled. I correspondingly allotted her the coveted final position in my route picking roster (as I like to save the best for last, though, sometimes am either forced to choose otherwise, or accidentally stumble upon a favorite unexpectedly). When I actually got to her route, she did not disappoint. )
Also, potentially spoiler-riffic
The runner up for me was Anna, the mysterious hunter. A lot of her appeal really comes hand in hand with plot sensitive material, so I'll try to keep the specifics under wraps.
As far as generalities go, though, Next would have to be Tira, the ojousama. Her route also comes with a side character (the butler, Parker), who made things interesting. I'll be honest, I didn't expect to like her as much as I ended up doing, and a lot of that comes from how she interacts in battle, which was absolutely hilarious. Iry, the student. This route, despite appearing low on the ordering scheme, was still very good. Lencia, the flower girl. Lencia is somehow related to you (I don't remember, or didn't quite catch/understand the specifics, but from what I gathered was some sort of cousin), and calls you Oni-chan, and is sort of clingy, and over-attached. I didn't really care for her. Ero warning Mistie, the maid. This route did nothing for me. There was little to no interesting plot, and her VA annoyed me somewhat.
As far as the battling system goes, here are my observations
As far as the girls' battle stats go:
When I was with Kahlua, she joined when her level was two below mine, and was matching Will in terms of offense and defense, and her HP was slightly lower.
When I used Tira, we were at a comparable level the whole way, and she excelled Will in both offense and defense, but had pathetic HP.
Anna joined a little below me XP wise, so was either on level, or slightly below, consistently. She matched Will in offense, beat him in defense, and had slightly lower HP.
I don't remember any of the other girls' battle stats that well, to be perfectly honest.
As far as usable items that you buy from the store go, I only ever found the honeypot, the beehive, the magic flower (healing items, 1 target 50 HP, 1 target full HP, full party 40 HP respectively), the ice crystal, campfire, and magic ball (area effect damage to the order of 55, 40, 25 damage respectively) to ever be useful. Everything else seemed to only do 1 HP of damage to the enemy, and no noticeable status effect (maybe I missed it, though).
Tips to make combat go quicker, so you can finish night-time and return to plot:
- As far as I've noticed, Will always goes first, then the enemies (one or two, from right to left), then your partner, then any remaining enemies. I could never figure out what the "Quick" stat the fortune teller displays means, as it certainly didn't seem to affect combat order.
- That means, if you're OHKO-ing enemies, have your partner attack the far left, and Will the far right. If your partner attacks the right enemy, she won't get to killing it before it gets it's attack off, whereas this way she will, thus preventing it from damaging you, but more importantly, keeping it from acting and reducing the length of battles.
- DO NOT challenge areas where mini-bosses lurk unless you're sure you can kill them, (You'll notice this when the turn counter doesn't display a number, but rather some kanji that I assume mean "unlimited", and you no longer have the "run away" option.) During the first week this includes both bridges, the graveyard (this is across the bridges, not the church), the library, and the house where Mistie works (listed in order of difficulty to beat).
- DO NOT let either you or your partner faint, this will reduce your "power meter" meter to it's base value. You want the "power meter" to be full so you can execute your combo attacks (and simultaneously increasing your "love score" or default "power meter" level).
- If your "power meter" is full, and you're close to a mini-boss area, you might consider simply guarding, until the enemies run away, letting you advance in areas, so you can unleash total death on the mini-bosses with your combo attack.
- If you've already cleared all the tough enemies, just combo whenever the gauge fills.
Plot spoiler: Large spoiler! ---------------
I can't think of anything else at the moment, and the post is probably long enough at this point.