Little Princess Review

Title: Little Princess
Alias: リトルプリンセス
Release date: 1986-12-25 (as Sarawareta Miki-chan)/1987-11 (as Little Princess)
English release date: 2014-10-14
Developer: Champion Soft
English publisher: 2.0 Translations (as a fan-standalone release)

"Little Princess" is a retro Japanese adventure game/visual novel. And when I say retro, I mean 1986. Damn, this game is older than me... It was released by "Champion Soft" and served as a precursor to later widely popular Rance saga.

The game's first iteration was called "Sarawareta Miki-chan"; eventually it was remade and renamed to "Little Princess" just a year later. Currently both its Japanese Windows version and the English translation are freeware and readily available.
Oh, horror!
The plot is completely bare bones. You, as the protagonist, were on a date with your girlfriend Miki, when suddenly Dracula swooped down and kidnapped her. Now you have to travel to Dracula's Castle in order to free Miki. No, seriously guys, this is the actual plot, I'm not shitting you.

The game uses a text parser to receive input. Those of you who don't know what that is - text parser requires you actually writing out the commands for the protagonist. I'm not actually a fan of that subgenre of adventure games, as I'm terribly incompetent at them. The only text parser game I have ever completed without a walkthrough (and actually enjoyed doing that) was "Trilby's Notes". That said, excepting a certain scene where you have to "tenderly love" a girl in order to acquire a critical information, "Little Princess" is not that hard. That is, it's not hard to actually finish the game, but I have a sneaking suspicion that all the available walkthroughs, both Japanese and English, are missing a lot of secret content.
The young racketeer.
Even after finishing the game I still had a lot of unused items, that must have had some meaning not readily obvious. I still don't know what to do with both shiny axes, garlic, perfume; maybe there was something more to do with the girl in the cabin or the girl in the painting. I could give jewels to the latter, but it appears to have no impact on the game. So, all in all it's a tricky game, but not unsatisfactory one. After all it's short enough that completing it doesn't seem like time wasted. If you are following a walkthrough you won't take more than 40 or so minutes to beat this ancient adventure yarn. It will take more if you are trying to map the game by yourself. For that matter, I think it is a good idea for me to provide the game map to the readers. It surely is going to make things less annoying if you decide to play the game.
» To see the maps click here... «
The path towards your girlfriend's freedom is obstructed by nymphos.
While the game plot is as thin as chlorinated sheets and there is no characterization to speak of, the game still manages to display some glimpses of brilliance. For example, the lake scene is pure distilled black humour goodness, even if you have to apply some insane troll logic to actually get it. It also draws nice allusions to the famous fairy tale. Troll logic is also used to defeat Dracula himself, though I have a nasty suspicion that this was some sort of a developers' injoke. Moreover, all the map screens are poorly connected with no reason for most of the characters to be there or help you at all. You are just talking to them and receiving their aid without even knowing why.

Graphically the game shows every year of its age, there is no sound and you can only play it in a windowed mode... at a resolution of 512x424. Now that I made all of you leave without even looking back, I am gonna mention that the game is also technically 18+. I say technically, because there is no sex, just a few suggestive scenes and two of them show heavily pixellated girl's breasts... joy.
She'll get better.
"Little Princess" is one of those games very hard to rate objectively. There just isn't much content to leave a lasting impression, and the game serves more like a reminder of a long bygone era. However, there is just something vaguely charming about it. So the final rating is exactly halfway between good and bad.

Links of Interest

Visual Novel Database
Download the original Japanese version for MSX or PC
Get the English version
English walkthrough

Final Verdict: 50 %


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