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. )
was as an enemy (I was in Lencia's route), and
Also, potentially spoiler-riffic
I especially enjoyed the sort of fish-out-of-water feel I got from her, as well as how clueless/innocent she was about love, despite knowing all about sex (as a succubus should). -) That and her actually having a connection with the final boss (as opposed to all of the other characters save one) was a major plus in her favor, in my book.
I found it amusing that of the 17 (if I recall correctly) H-scenes in MaW, Kahlua features in of them (5 for the other girls' bad ends, and 3 of her own). This also nets her the rather unique distinction of sleeping with as many people as the protagonist does.
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,
Her plot was the most connected to the story behind the city and the monsters in it, and this was an undeniable advantage over all the other girls. Additionally, the way you first meet her, she's saving you after you just got your ass handed to you by Kahlua, which is another plus, as most of the time you're saving one of the other girls from a monster as your introduction.
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.
Whenever she attacks, she flails at the enemy, then Parker appears, attacks it quickly, and disappears, and she looks around confusedly. Similarly, when the special meter combo goes off, the cut-in animation is hilarious. It starts off the same as normal, with you and the girl coming in from the right side of the screen, but Parker shows up too, and then the protagonist sprite changes to surprise, and falls backwards, and it's Parker, instead of the combo of you and the girl, who is dishing out massive damage. Now, I didn't particularly care for Parker the character, but as far as entertainment value goes, it had me laughing out loud.
Iry, the student. This route, despite appearing low on the ordering scheme, was still very good.
Your interaction with her for the whole first week, where she knows you're a hunter, and the one who saved her, but can't prove it yet are priceless.
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.
She has some amusing past connections with protagonist, which actually are mentioned in a couple of the other routes. This puts her above Mistie.
Also, she gives a you blow-job, which is nice, and moves her up a few notches in my opinion. Only one other girl does, that I can remember, which is sad. (
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.
You will want to make sure you fight as often as possible, so that your tough battles at the end of the game will cakewalks. You will have to fight without your partner in at least one tough battle, often three. Judicious use of items can decrease the difficulty considerably, though.
To get on either Anna, or Kahlua's routes might be minorly tricky, all the other girls are straightforward, though.
If you've collected the three gems, and want to find Kahlua so she will return your loved one, Kahlua will be waiting for you at the church. I didn't know this the first time, and was confused, as that was also where Golem was guarding one of the gems (which was for me the final one, so when I was moving around looking for her to return them, I foolishly never thought to go back to it).
I can't think of anything else at the moment, and the post is probably long enough at this point.