Lesbian Visual Novel Review: The Wilting Amaranth
Written by jin0uga, edited by Otaku Apologist
The Wilting Amaranth, developed and published by Reine Works. Released in English on May 9th 2018. Download at Nutaku’s digital store for $5.00. No voice acting. Uncensored genitals. Available for PC Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
In this game, three girls struggle to survive with the pain of never having touched another woman’s vagina in their lives. Trapped in a witch’s tower, locked away from a judgemental society, these women will experience sex for the first time.
You play as Amarante, a princess who is kidnapped by a witch. After a brief period of unconsciousness, she wakes up to find herself trapped in a mysterious tower, latticed windows barring her from the outside world. As she cautiously descends the tower, she chances upon another captive.
She introduces herself as Priya, a mere peasant who broke into the tower to steal medicine for her mother. Should you choose to believe her, and help her escape from the cell, you will be locked into her route. The witch then chances upon both of you, immediately forcing Priya back into the cell, and you, into the room. The witch, Isolde, cautions that Priya is not all she seems. You will be locked into Isolde’s route if you don’t help Priya escape. You are at a crossroads on who to place your trust in. The enigmatic Priya, or the seemingly kind-hearted witch.
Depending on who you side with, the story unfolds in a completely different manner. I helped Priya escape her cell on my first run, and due to the choices I made, finished with a bad ending. On my second run, I chose to side with Isolde, and ended up with an entirely different ending and new perspective of the events from Priya’s route. That’s the beauty of multiple endings and branching paths.
The whimsical choices you make affect the story in ways you’d never imagine. One ending might put an intriguing spin on the information you learn from the previous playthrough. I’d definitely recommend doing more than one playthrough for this visual novel. It’s almost scary how easily I got sucked into the story, to the point where I’d start a new playthrough seconds after finishing my last one.
However, some endings can be quite lacking. There are one or two routes where the story picks up, but then the storyline ends prematurely. Having multiple endings is fine and dandy, but the biggest problem with this storytelling method is unsatisfying endings. One particular playthrough with Isolde was wrapped up in such an anti-climactic manner, that everything building towards that ending felt utterly wasted.
Thankfully, most of the endings were surprising, satisfying, and full of worthwhile moments for reading.
Amarante is the protagonist, a princess from an unknown country that was accidentally transported to the Witch’s tower due to a magic mishap. She’s a level headed individual, but constantly at odds with herself due to her upbringing. Her preference for women has caused friction between her and her parents. Their opinion is that her sexuality is a disease. She longs to have the freedom to love whoever she wishes.
Priya is a tanned woman, with a silver tongue capable of charming a beggar of his last dollar. Amarante first comes upon her locked behind bars in the Witch’s Tower. Priya has an easy-going personality, but her greed and questionable intentions occasionally shine through her friendly façade. Though she always wears a grin, her pretty face and even prettier words hide a scoundrel underneath.
Isolde is the feared Witch who lives in isolation in the Witch’s tower. Like her mother and her grandmother before her, she takes care of the tower. One of her pastimes is admiring Amarante through her cauldron, until the other woman is accidentally summoned by her spell. Soft-spoken and kind, Isolde is not what her reputation paints her as. With less than stellar people skills, the pink-haired witch is less of a horrid hag, and more of a fearful bunny with magical powers. She was by far my favourite character, due to her habit of stuttering and acting adorably shy.
The character sprite art resembles a Japanese style, but lacks the defining features of the style, like overly exaggerated eyes. The body proportions are also quite realistic. Regardless, everyone in The Wilting Amaranth looks gorgeous. There are 10 unique CGs to admire, they are drawn in the same style as the sprites, and are equally detailed.
Characters only wear their one outfit. Isolde is a mysterious, enticing figure in her black gown with frilled bolero. Her eccentricities are further accentuated by her bright pink hair. Priya wears a less risqué outfit, but she somehow manages to look effortlessly sensual due to the V-shape neckline that shows off the swell of her breasts. Amarante looks the part of the princess in her ruffled, dark navy dress that exposes her delectable shoulders.
The backgrounds are not much to look at. It becomes obvious the game doesn’t have much of a budget once you lay your eyes upon the backdrops of each scene. There’s objects in each area, but they lack crispness. The blurriness of the background clashed with the sprites. They also lack any kind of shadows, which further adds to their cartoonish feel. Shadows are only present on characters.
The colour palette ranges from extremely bright to dull and dreary. The background colors are often just faded browns and oranges. Characters are coloured more intricately, like Isolde’s eye-catching pink hair, or the yellow tips of Priya’s hair.
SOUND EFFECTS AND VOICE ACTING (SFX)
The Wilting Amaranth has no voice acting. However, simple actions like knocking on a door, has its own sound effect. Though the audio is minimal, I appreciate the indie studio’s efforts to add immersion.
The visual novel kicks off a song that resembles the opening of every fairy tale movie ever. It plays several notes of a music box before violins, piano, and horn instruments come in, creating a fantastical atmosphere of an adventure about to begin. After the scene changes, the song transitions into something simpler, and more soothing. The tinkling notes of the music box are absent, and the piano comes to the forefront of the song.
Regular scenes get a calm, but catchy track. The beat is carried by the strumming of guitars, drums, before the violins finally come in. I liked the casual and laid back atmosphere this track creates. Intimate scenes, when characters kiss or have sex, have a sensual song with saxophones, piano and violins. Personally, the sultry hum of the saxophone was fantastic for making me aroused. You could probably bust a nut just listening to the saxophone.
A mischievous song plays during scenes where the main character sneaks around, or does something they shouldn’t. A horn instrument adds a playful feel to the song, like the reader is embroiled in a game of cat and mouse. The violin comes in at various interludes and changes the vibe from playful to mysterious, before it fades out, repeating from the beginning. Then, as the atmosphere turns ominous, the song changes. The random beat of a synthesizer steals the listener’s attention from the violins and piano. It does well in creating a tense atmosphere.
Though the songs are short and loop pretty often, I never found them annoying. There is a nice variation of instruments, and since the visual novel isn’t too long, the soundtrack never outstays its welcome.
This is a visual novel with multiple endings. Clicking the text will ‘turn’ the page and advance the story. There are 13 endings. During the story, the game gives you branching dialogue options. Your choices affect which ending you unlock.
There are only two character routes in the story, Isolde’s or Priya’s. Choosing either character will lock you into their route. I’d recommend to save often if you don’t want to replay the visual novel from the beginning each playthrough.
The sex scenes are long enough to get you excited, but not too long to get dreary. The scenes aren’t very descriptive. The narration mostly describes the main character’s thoughts of how lewd the situation is as she licks another girl’s pussy. Overall I felt the scenes were quite steamy. During the hentai, you get several choices on how Amarante should proceed. These choices don’t change the CGs or events after the fuck. Only the text is affected.
For example, choosing the option to lick Priya’s eager vagina will have her talk about Amarante’s tongue. Choosing the other option, and using fingers to touch her, will have Priya complain how slow Amarante is. There is playful dialogue between the characters, but it doesn’t add to the erotic atmosphere. If you’re looking for a long, satisfying fuck between lesbians, you won’t find it. The sex is mostly quick and dirty.
Yuri fans looking for homosexual romance in a fantasy world setting will be delighted to pick up this title. Anime fappers who are into vanilla lesbian sex will also enjoy this. Multiple playthroughs are required to fully understand the complex characters and the in-game events, but the time spent will be enjoyable, and well worth it.
This indie visual novel gets my personal recommendation. Download The Wilting Amaranth today.