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2011-11-04

Conquering the Queen Review



Title: Conquering the Queen (魔将の贄)
Release date: 2004-07-23 (2011-10-28 in English)
Developer: Liquid
Publisher: MangaGamer

Maybe it's unusual, but I do not differentiate between subgenres of eroge. I like them plot based and I also like nukiges. Frankly, it all depend on the mood what kind of game I want to play. And this time I wanted to play a new sexfest from MangaGamer "Mashou no Nie" (retitled "Conquering the Queen" for the Western market). The game was previously known as "The Queen and Princess as Your Rewards", when it was supposed to be released a few years ago and was suddenly pulled to be completely retranslated.

For the glory of Katusha I will smite thee with my pork sword!
-Vincent Conquer loosely quoted

A golden opportunity.
Before I started a novel, I had a certain trepidation towards it. None of the previous MG endeavours into the nukige world were very successful (at least in my eyes). "Cosplay Alien" and "Succubu*Soon" were as arousing as a roadkill, "Tasty Shafts" was simply atrocious and "Sandwiched by my wife and her sister" is still the worst visual novel I have ever played. Period. Other two games by Liquid fared better, but still had problems: "My sex slave is a classmate" was only a mediocrity and 'Suck my dick or die!", while quite a good game, had a translation that was barely recognizable as English. So, you can see that I wasn't very enthusiastic about this game either. Still, I picked it as I was in a mood for a short dark nukige.

The visual novel puts us in the boots of a wondering swordsman Vincent Conquer, who at the beginning of the game is traveling in a forest bordering two warring nations: Katusha and Eclipse. As his luck my be, he encounters a gang of miscreants who have slaughtered the envoy of the princess of Katusha and are ready to kidnap her for the make benefit glorious nation of Eclipse. Realizing his chance for a juicy reward, Vincent jumps into the fray and rescues the princess, thus aligning himself with Katusha and launching his steadfast rise to the power. Those who live in the ex-Soviet block will probably smile towards the name of this particular nation, but I digress.

I really like battle CGs.
Vincent himself is surprisingly quite fleshed out, despite being a protagonist of a sexfest. He is an opportunistic evil jerk with a heart of coal, that despises authority (unless he is one) and likes to debase and humiliate women. After his well-timed rescue of the beloved princess Roxana, Vince devices a plan to climb the stairway of his carrier by literally fucking his way to the top. He is well skilled with both steel and pork sword and swings them around leisurely. Seriously, the constant mention of "pork" and "porking" has probably irreversibly changed my view towards that particular meat :-)

Vincent is a capable leader, a cunning strategist and a fearless warrior and he manages to quickly acquire the respect of common people as well as soldiers. He succeeds in every of his plots, despite me finding some of them unbelievable. Frankly, I think, that Vince could have been thwarted many times in his quest for power. Some of his plans weren't well thought out and the total success came only because the writers said so. Despite being shown as a clever and devious man, Vince does some reckless actions, that in my opinion should have backfired on him. That raises the threshold for suspension of disbelief a bit higher, but I suppose you can call him a very lucky man. All in all, I warmed up to Vince and found him a very likable protagonist, despite him being totally unlikable... Yes, he is a power thirsty rapist who uses force and magic to get what he wants, but only once did he get a real Kick the Dog moment (one word: Ed).

Yep. One big load of horse shit designed to bend those foolish, deluded people to my will...
-Emely about religion. Me approves.

It's a bit of a misnomer that the novel is titled 'Conquering the Queen", when there are actually seven girls you can screw with. But I won't hold it against MG, after all, the queen is the most important :-)

The euphemisms... O_o
Roxana, or Sana is the princess of Katusha that you rescue from the bandits on Eclipse's payroll. She immediately develops a crush on you and often graces you with her presence. Sana is a shy girl that was sheltered from most of the hardships of life and is mostly oblivious not only about the real political situation betwixt Katusha and Eclipse, but also about other things like sex. If you play your hand right, you will never have to rape her or force her into anything she doesn't want to be a part of. I would even call one of the endings a definite good ending for Sana.

Queen Sarah Katusha, is a Queen-Mother to the ruling regent - her son Eric. Sarah carries herself gracefully, is a generous, caring and capable ruler and is beloved by all the nation. Thus she is in complete contrast to her incompetent son, who is an actual ruler. Eric is a rude, cowardly and indecisive regent that isn't supported even by his most trusted advisors. He is slowly leading country towards ruin and doesn't even understand that. One can wonder, how could he spring from the same womb that gave birth to Sana. That leads us to share and approve of Vincent's plans to depose Eric as the ruler. Strangely there are almost no rape with Sarah either in this game as even her first not really consensual scenes are not really that.

It's not a rape. It's a surprise sex you didn't know you wanted.
Remmy Fenel is captain of the guard stationed in the fort near the border of Eclipse. She is a tomboyish genki girl type, that to her unlucky stars shows immediate interest in Vince. She is also his first conquest and a springboard to launch his assault to the higher ranks. Remmy falls very quickly to both his strength and his magic and from that point on she barely needs to be coerced into doing sexual favours. Still, she is a capable and beloved leader, that cares genuinely about her men and is probably the only friend of Matilda.

Matilda is a haughty and aloof kuudere commander of the Royal Army that disdains relationships with men and takes the longest to break. Matilda doesn't consider herself a woman, but refers to herself as a warrior. She immediately gets on the wrong side of Vincent and gets the most brutal treatment of all. It's rape, rape and more rape for poor Matilda. Her scenes make up a vast majority of H content for CtQ. Matilda really loves only one person - her stepbrother Ed and it is him that is used by Vincent to get under Matilda's skin.

I approve of porking witches instead of burning them.
Emely is a Head Priestess to the religion of Eclipse and the real instigator and soul of the ongoing war. She is a manipulative, sick and twisted bitch, capable of using the darkest of magics. Vincent even notes, that she is not unlike him in her liking to play with human lives for her own amusement. While you meet her only in the second part of the game, she is a really important character. She gives you a choice to join or fight her and that is the single most important choice in the game as it directly affects everything from that point on. Joining her will start what the game calls "Dark Chapters", which is basically an Evil path. And that says a lot in this kind of game. If I have one complaint here, despite being so haughty and so powerful Emely falls way too quickly if you decide to fight her. She then becomes a mindless sex slave in just a few moments. Not realistic. Matilda survived much more than that.

Girls get tender.
Finally the duo of Alfia and Rachel. I group them together as neither of them has a really significant part and when they appear, they are usually together. Alfia is an officer of the Eclipse army that is captured by Vince and tortured to find out the military secrets. Rachel is a bumbling loli mage assassin tsundere, that first appears on a mission to kill king Eric and is later caught by Vince. It's a shame that they have so little screen time and I would have liked their role expanded. However they are portrayed with little personality as writers probably didn't find them interesting enough. Alfia is the greatest offender as she can be mistaken for the mannequin, what with so little emotions and all... It's a real shame about Rachel as I was initially interested in her and then she didn't fulfill my expectations.

In the beginning of the review I mentioned that I wanted a short dark nukige and, you guess what - "Conquering the Queen" is bloody long. Seriously, it's a really really long game that will occupy you for 25-30 hours. I didn't expect that. The sex scenes themselves are of the right and comfortable length - neither too long, nor too short and there are lots of them. The content itself is very varied: blowjobs, straight sex, anal, boobjobs, rape, consensual sex, sex under influence, sex under mind control, yuri, futanari, sex with demons and etc.

Nonetheless, despite all the varied content, Vince basically has only one way to initiate a sexual intercourse - rape. I expected more imagination and cunningness from him. There were some flashes of imagination when he used the aphrodisiac on Sarah and a few others, but mainly he used the same tactics. He rapes a girl, she then starts loving it and begging for more. Urm... no. I take some points away for that. Not realistic at all. I also wanted more CGs per sex scene. Considering the amount of H content in CtQ, I imagine that budget didn't allow that. Still, that leaves me a bit unsatisfied; many scenes have only one Cg and some proudly present whole two, but considering the length of scenes, I found it lacking.

Vincent is very courteous to let you keep a sword in a prison cell.
While we are on the topic of H content, let me talk the graphical stuff. First and foremost I found the CGs simply beautiful. The artist did an outstanding job and many scenes (both sexual and not in presentation) are eye-candies. The obvious drawback though is a low resolution of 640x480, that is way too low for a modern computer and it shows. Sure, the game was originally released in 2004, but I can still complain, can I not? Moreover, I wasn't so hot about "paper-dolls". Character sprites have only one design and one position (with one exception) on screen and never change. That creates many hilarious situations, like the character sprite portrayed always carrying a sword after arrest and imprisonment still holding the same sword in their prison cell... LOLWUT? The character portrait appears on the left side and is used to display emotions, but they are very few and not very expressive (or at least Ryuukishi07 ruined me with the expressiveness of his characters).

The sound is nothing worth mentioning, but it doesn't hurt the ears either, so all is well. The voice actresses (non of the males are voiced) did a very good and believable job, but I must confess, that I wanted to hear Vincent's voice. Especially because in an unusual move in a nukige, he has a face that we frequently seen on screen. Let's put a voice to the face and it would be perfect.

After expressing surprise at an unusual length of the game, I also have to express my surprise at the unusual lack of choices. There are only four (!) of them in the whole game and one of them does nothing except for showing a different sex scene. The first choice appears in the third chapter, the second in the 20th, after about 15 hours of gameplay. The lack of choices also leads to only four different endings. I personally do not consider a low ending count a drawback as even a single ending is sufficient for me and it's obvious that the creators wanted to tell a coherent story with little deviations here and only branch it at the end. Despite that, I think that Liquid should have added more choices that, while not affecting the endings, would lead to shorter side branches. A few differentiating events in the middle in the story based on your choices would have been nice to have.

All girls love getting porked.
Considering, the low count of choices I will even provide a 100% walkthrough for you here:
1. Accept her challenge
2. Pull out
3. Cum outside
<Save 1>
4. Partner up (Ending "The Triumph of the New King")


<Load Save 1>
4. Reject her offer (Ending "Reign of the Pretender to the Throne")


<Start the game from the beginning or from the very first choice>
1. Decline
<Save 2>
2. Pull out
3. Cum inside her
4. Reject her offer (Ending "Palace Ritual")


<Load Save 2>
2. Cum inside her
3. Cum outside
4. Reject her offer (Ending "The Princess's Confession")

And finally, a few words about translation. Previously MangaGamer had quite a bad reputation, due to their first releases that were barely recognizable as coherent English. Later releases were good and that is it. "Conquering the Queen" requires a special mention, not because translation is bad, but because it's so good! Seriously. this is probably their most competent and beautifully worded translation from MG yet. The typo count is also incredibly low, with me being able to count grammatical errors I noticed on the fingers of my one hand. The most glaring one was probably Ecryps instead of Eclipse in one of the title screens. Kudos for the one who did the job on this.

Conclusion

Matilda - the ultimate tsundere.
To sum up, "Conquering the Queen" is a very solid sex oriented visual novel. If you are not squeamish about rape and would like to get into the boots of a villain protagonist, definitely pick it up. I would go as far as to say that it is the best nukige available officially in English (not counting "Bible Black", which I consider a VN with a strong sexual content rather than a nukige and "We Love Master, which I haven't played yet).

Links of Interest

Visual Novel Database
Official Japanese site
Buy the digital English release from MangaGamer

Final verdict: 79%

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous9/11/11 23:26

    Good review, albeit a bit spoilerish )

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the walk through.
    Really Really Thank You~~!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't be too certain of this but I rarely see male characters with a bishounen-like design in VNs. Interestingly, this seems to be one of the very few games that portray a protagonist with standard "pretty boy" features (in Vincent's case long, blond hair).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous9/6/13 08:52

    I know this is an old review but I wanted to say this review is a big reason I got the game. I liked the game and you do very good reviews. They are quite fun to read :)

    ReplyDelete