Posted by: The Overlord 18 October 2016
Classic roguelike dungeon exploring RPGs have always been a small niche themselves (and I’m not talking about the current fad of calling any procedural game as “roguelike” or “roguelite” or whatever), and as such a proper crossover between the roguelike and eroge niches has always been a very elusive sight. However, from the depths of the unexplored dungeons of the internet rises a fierce contender to be the champion of the genre, MaiDenSnow Eve.
In development by the group Usabox (or UsagiMeshiya on the Japanese DLsite) since 2013, MaiDenSnow Eve is a spin-off to the previous non-ecchi game of the group, Maidensnow no Youkai Daimakyou (commonly known as Maidensnow Online and available for free here in Japanese only). In MaiDenSnow Eve you control Sister Roland, one of the best exorcists employed by the Church, in her quest to defeat the monsters that have overrun a city and its nearby locations.
Now, let me first get something out really quick. Despite the stern and badass depiction in the game’s title screen, Sister Roland is quite possibly the cutest thing ever:
My little exorcist can’t be this cute
As cute as she is, she is also quite badass and a very powerful exorcist with a wide array of weapons, skills and tactics at her disposal to blast all those demons to kingdom come. Make no mistake, though, this is still a classic roguelike game and as such still very challenging. Sister Roland is as fragile as she is deadly, and you’ll need a good bit of strategy and effective resource management to succeed in this game.
MaiDenSnow Eve plays in a regular roguelike fashion, where the player and the monsters in view trade turns moving and acting in a procedurally generated dungeon. There is an abstract overworld map composed of several “bases” or “safe spots” with dungeons between them. Each dungeon has possibly infinite levels, each one procedurally generated every time the player crosses a portal.
The game’s commands are quite complex and require some getting used to, with several menus, quick menus, key combinations and state interactions. They are also quite efficient once you get the hang of it, allowing quick access to the myriad of different skills possessed by Sister Roland. The quick menus change their available skills according to the weapon equipped and allow you to set up your own item shortcuts on the empty slots.
Most of those skills are very situational and choosing the right skill for each situation while balancing MP and items usage is one of the key challenges in the game. The game also has a Vitality system that slowly decreases from 100% to 0% which defines how much HP and MP you naturally heal over time—among other things—and must be replenished by eating food.
Although, the player accumulates experience and levels (which, on the hard setting, are reset at every safe spot in exchange for extra gold), the main progression of MaiDenSnow Eve is done by acquiring and improving your equipment. There is a small but diverse choice of weapons (of which my favorite is the bayoneted rifle for its innate badassery) and several clothes and defensive equipment—all of which being visually shown on the character’s portrait. Every piece of equipment can be enchanted with pluses that raise its effectiveness and get fitted with different essences that provide a wide array of effects.
All of that preparation is needed to defeat all the enemies that you’ll come across in the game, which are quite varied themselves. Every enemy has different weaknesses, tactics, and skills that must be taken into account when facing them. The combination of all of the above factors helps to ensure that no encounter is equal, and each group of enemies requires careful planning before tackling on. Positioning also makes a major impact in battles. As mentioned before, Sister Roland is strong and skilled enough to take the strongest enemies head on alone on a straight corridor, but getting surrounded even by weaker enemies in a wide room is just asking to be knocked down, brutally gang raped, and terminally mind broken (not necessarily in that order).
Which brings us to the thing most of you are probably interested in, the lewd elements of the game. As you may have figured already by how low on the article this section is, sex isn’t really the focus of MaiDenSnow Eve, being more of a complement to the gameplay. It really is a great complement, though. The constant risk of sexual assault brings a whole new layer of danger to the game that’s nonexistent in other roguelikes.
The sexual content in this game is completely tied to the game’s system by a complex web of statuses. Reaching 0 HP doesn’t mean instant death, instead, it gives you a “defeated” status, which makes you vulnerable to, for example, being anally penetrated (which is another status) which might lead to you having a load of semen inside your anus (which is yet another status). Some enemies will also sexually attack you while you’re still up and fighting with undressing, groping, and other skills to try and incapacitate you. Roland can get pregnant as well, and once she gives birth the offspring will latch onto her breasts to feed for some turns, weighing you down. All these statuses have their own effects on your stats and actions, and you also have ways to fight back and try to get rid of them. However, getting molested too often will lead to Roland developing some bad habits that will make her even more susceptible to sexual attacks.
All of that sexual activity is properly portrayed on Roland’s standing picture, which has a lovely variety of pained and pleasured expressions, poses and different states of half-open and torn clothing. The standing picture is completely animated at all times, although the monsters are shown as generic, shadowy humanoids, beasts, or tentacles. It’s a nice visual depiction of what’s going on, but the lack of variety gets a bit tiresome at times. The game also does contain some CGs (which are also nicely animated), but those are very few and far between.
There are also a few visual customization options available for Sister Roland, which are unlocked by killing enemies and fulfilling certain conditions. Coupled with the different outfits, they allow you to tailor the already very cute Roland to your own personal tastes. There are also a couple statuses that change your appearance, including the futanari status that unlocks some special rape animations for a few female monsters.
Sister Roland discovering the pleasures of having a dick
Summing things up, if you’re just looking for a quick porn fix or a light RPG game, then you’d better look somewhere else. If the idea of grinding countless hours for that perfect piece of equipment while trying your best not to get raped (at least, not too much) sounds interesting to you, then MaiDenSnow Eve is definitely worth a try. This is a genuine roguelike game and a pretty damn good one at that.
You can get MaiDenSnow Eve on DLsite, which accompanies an official patch that translates the interface to English. Although it is a pretty bad “Engrish” at times and doesn’t touch any of the story content, it’s understandable enough to make the game playable by those of us not well versed in the art of deciphering moonrunes. I’d also like to point you to this ULMF thread which contains a nice beginner’s guide on the game (and believe me, you’ll need it). Good luck on your divine mission, fellow exorcists.