As adult RPG Maker games are becoming more commonplace these days, it’s important to see what they bring to the table of adult games, asking such questions as, “Does this program work for this type of story? Is there anything innovative about the combat or other features in the game? Is it easy to navigate through the map or does it take too long?” While most people are more likely to pick a game with high quality graphics than a game with simplistic, pixelated visuals, RPG Maker games can be good if properly realized. A developer should understand what can be done with the program; how they can manipulate it in interesting ways. The question right now is how Damsel Quest 3 compares to the other RPG Maker titles out there.
Emi can sleep standing up with her eyes open?
Damsel Quest 3’s story starts off where the second game ended. Princess Ren wakes up in her castle and is greeted by her two companions: Emi, her knight in revealing armor, and Kiri, her half-sister. It turns out that Emi is cursed with fox ears and a tail that make her constantly feel aroused, so the party needs to find a cure. With this goal in mind, the three heroines search the land, defeat enemies, and complete quests to turn Emi back into a human, while trying not to get captured and corrupted along the way.
Unfortunately, the game’s story is barely present and feels like it should have been more focused on character development. The quest for Emi’s cure is initially the main objective, while the other issues act as side quests. The search for the cure eventually leads to Emi’s character development, but by the time one reaches that point, the side quests take more focus away from the original quest. The story wants to be about Emi’s development, but the situation with a rogue magic group known as the Claw gradually becomes more interesting. These two storylines could have blended together well if we knew about the Claw earlier in the story, but as it was executed, it felt too choppy.
I feel like this should have been Emi’s story instead of Ren’s, as the story is mostly about her and she gets the most development throughout it. Ren held an important role in the previous games, but in Damsel Quest 3, she barely gets any development, if any at all. There is one scene involving Ren, but it is extremely brief and has no purpose in the overall story. Emi is the one suffering from the curse, suffering from guilt over what Princess Ren went through in the previous games, yet she is treated more like a side character, rather than the main focus. Emi does not get enough time to develop as a character, and whenever she does, it’s rushed. Her eventual development suddenly appears out of nowhere.
Overall, more could have been done with the characters. I was even hoping for some cuckoldry where Emi is forced to watch Ren getting fucked mercilessly. Her helplessness in that situation could have broken her down into thinking she’s a worthless knight or pushed her into taking action instead of whining about her past failures and guilt, but that’s just how I see it.
I would say that the most redeemable parts of Damsel Quest 3 are the enemies and the capture mechanics. The game features turn-based combat, capture mechanics, and a small amount of puzzle solving. The capture mechanics involve your party’s resistance bars and HP bars. Enemies can lower your resistance by seducing your party into submission or attack you until you are unable to fight. If one of your party members are captured, she won’t be able to participate in battles until you rescue her. Once you find her, there might be a short scene of her being raped, after which she can return to your party.
The capture mechanic is interesting, but annoying when searching for your party member while fighting through enemies. The enemies respawn whenever you reenter an area and there are no random encounters, save for one dungeon in the game. It is almost impossible to avoid enemies when the maps are too narrow for you to dodge them. It takes a lot of time to rescue your party members, and the resulting sex scenes are too short and poorly written. Ultimately, it’s better to not get captured, because you’ll simply be missing a character during battles until you rescue her. As frustrating as it may be, it is a challenge to keep your party from being completely captured. While others may see it as an opportunity for lewds, I see it as a penalty for not protecting your party. It makes sense to me that, if you fuck up, you’re punished for it.
There are many different enemies in the game, but the battles all feel the same, save for a character named Filia and encounters with slime enemies. Filia was interesting, hot, and business-focused. Additionally, her side quest made me like her even more after seeing how important she is to her henchmen. Her boss battle was unique among them all and required more thinking than just wildly attacking the enemy and healing when needed. The slimes were interesting because they were surprisingly strong, can easily reduce your defense and capture your party members, and can be frozen to render them paralyzed. On top of that, they looked adorable in both their slime and ice forms.
One thing I noticed about the combat was some questionable descriptions on the items and abilities. A spell wouldn’t work as it was described, or an item would have a confusing description that made me unsure of how it’s meant to be used. Sometimes, I’d attack, but the attack animation would be carried out by the enemy instead of my chosen character. None of these are game breaking issues, but they are something to keep in mind, as it’s not fun when you waste magic on something you didn’t want to do. A description needs to go straight to the point and explain what the item or spell does.
One big inconsistency in Damsel Quest 3 is the art between the characters and enemies. While some of the characters are drawn in a cute and moe style, the designs of some of the enemies were drawn in an entirely different style. I’m not sure if they are pre-made assets, but it is clear that the two styles are very different from each other. This could have been fixed by sticking to one art style or having styles that are more similar to each other, but as is, the styles used in the game make me think everything is out of place and don’t blend well together. Since the tone for the game leans more towards comedy than drama, it would have been better if everything was drawn in the cute moe style.
Conversely, the background music didn’t stand out much at all. It was consistent and fit the atmosphere a little bit, but there wasn’t enough of a variety of songs. You would end up hearing the same tunes repeat often enough to the point of it grating on your ears. It’s okay enough in the beginning of the game, but after hearing the same songs so often, I had to turn the volume down.
Some of these things are not like the others~
A huge problem I ran into was that the game would sometimes crash when I loaded a save file. It never crashed while I was in combat or during scenes, but it should not be crashing, to begin with. This can be difficult when you are looking for the right save file and load it to see when it takes place, only to have your game crash instead. This could be a problem for when you are trying to complete as much as possible.
There are four endings in Damsel Quest 3, the fourth of which only obtainable if you finish the first three endings. What’s difficult about the endings is how to obtain them. There is a branching path that works, but you have to possess the right items and endings to unlock them. Getting all the endings is much easier when you go in order, but I had trouble in my playthrough because I had an item I was not supposed to have for ending 1. When the game is completed out of order like this, it can be confusing when you are trying to figure out how to get the rest of the endings.
The most frustrating and perhaps most noteworthy part of the game was just before the final boss battle in the path to ending 2. You have to run across cracks in the floor and try not to fall through, forcing you to start over again, and solve a light orb puzzle without being told how to solve it, all while under a 15-minute time limit. At this point, I felt totally done with this game. While this was made to be a challenge and I might sound whiny, the cracks were finicky and near impossible to finish unless you save the game before each section of cracks, and there was simply no direction in the orb puzzle. It was like throwing a Rubik’s Cube at a kid who has never seen one before and telling him to solve it. I had to guess and scum save my way through this portion.
A lot of these remarks can be grouped into one big issue in Damsel Quest 3: the player is barely given any direction in the game. There were many times when I didn’t know what I was meant to be doing or where I was meant to be going. I searched the map until I triggered a scene that would move the game forward. Getting lost and trying to look for the story ended up ruining my immersion, and when I finally made progress, it wasn’t satisfying.
Damsel Quest 3 lacks the direction and intrigue that can keep a player hooked. The story focused more on various quests and it jumped around from finding a cure to the Claw, so I couldn’t connect with what was going on. The party members felt less like characters I could connect with and more like vessels for cheap comedy. I couldn’t bring myself to care about them, even during serious moments. The world is big, but a lot of the assets were wasted because they didn’t provide anything to the story or the gameplay. There is effort put into certain parts of the game, but the others ended up feeling neglected and rushed.
Excluding the spin-offs, there are three games in the Damsel Quest series: Damsel Quest, Princess Ren Returns (Damsel Quest 2), and Damsel Quest 3. The entire series can be bought on itchi.io or DLsite, along with Azurezero’s other games. If you’re interested in playing Damsel Quest 3 specifically, the game can be purchased on itchi.io for 7.77 GBP ($10.25) or DLsite for $13.02.