Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- The Prophecy of the Throne Game Overview Trailer
Who it Caters to
The Prophecy of the Throne is an original story based on the royal selection taking place in the Kingdom of Lugnica, something you probably remember from the first episodes/volumes of Re:Zero. For that reason, this is a game that's 100% catered to all those who have read the source material or, at least, watched the first season of the anime.
Although the plot of The Prophecy of the Throne is quite straightforward and self-contained, we must say that this game takes for granted that you already know the story, characters and basic premise, as it does little to nothing to put new people in context. For that reason, we mostly recommend it to Re:Zero fans in need of an alternate setting. If you're completely new to the franchise and still want to give this game a try, at least go watch a few anime episodes before buying it!
What to Expect
As we mentioned before, this original story expands on the events of the royal selection. In the source material, there were 5 candidates for the Kingdom of Lugnica; in this story, however, we're introduced to a new Priestess: Melty Pristis.
In terms of gameplay, The Prophecy of the Throne is your typical visual novel with some playable segments, so besides the usual slightly animated illustrations, you can also expect cute chibi versions of all characters in 3D.
We have mixed feelings for how this one looks. On the one hand, we love the chibi characters and we think they did a very good job recreating all models in 3D. When it comes to the rest of the game, though, the visual novel part of it is okay-ish at best. Truth be told, there's nothing blatantly wrong or out of place; it's just that there are a lot of other visual novels out there with better 2D models, better animation, more varied backgrounds, and more lively colors that really stand out—Subaru's curse also forces the game to recycle several scenes, making it all more noticeable.
Some illustrations are amazing, but others are kinda awkward, yet the most off-putting thing is how they deal with character interactions and "visual effects." If you truly love Re:Zero, you'll be fine, but remember objectivity is a virtue!
While The Prophecy of the Throne is nothing to write home about when it comes to the visuals, it really excels in the sound department, not only because of its soundtrack but because of the amazing job the voice actors did. It really sounds and feels like a special anime episode, and the new actors did a fantastic job blending in with the ones we all know and love. It's not that often that we can ignore our instincts and actually enjoy the music in a visual novel without advancing the text one millisecond after reading it, but this time we had to because the OST was totally worth it.
Do you remember what happened in the third arc of Re:Zero? No? Don't worry! The Prophecy of the Throne features 6 royal candidates instead of 5, and it better explains what happened to these gorgeous priestesses, in case you want to learn more about the politics of this fantasy world. In this game, all six candidates allegedly own an authentic Dragon Insignia proving them as true heirs to the throne, but the prophecy by which the candidates are chosen remains the same: there must be only 5 candidates, which means one of them is an impostor!
As you can already imagine, our duty will be to discover who is the false royal candidate and why is she faking it. Not only the royal selection is being delayed, but the Sage Council also distrusts Emilia because of her origins and apparent link with the Witch of Envy... and that's something Subaru can't allow!
Finding who of the priestesses is lying won't be easy... but it's kinda predictable. After all, we really got to know Anastasia, Felt, Priscilla and Crusch, as well as their platforms and companions, but what about this new Melty girl? Ah, we're obviously ignoring Emilia since she's one of the main characters, but wouldn't THAT be a surprise?
While we investigate—which won't be easy given how much secrecy they all show and how all candidates and their parties mistrust each other—we learn we have bigger problems than just a wannabe priestess, as an evil mask-swapping man called Wolf and the whole Witch Cult are after Emilia and the others. This means some decisions will end in the inevitable death of one or more characters, making Subaru go back in time and take a different approach to things. The game handles this aspect of Re:Zero really well, combining the narrative with an interesting gameplay mechanic. Yes, it also means you'll go over the same situations more than once... but if you can't bear with it, then what are you doing playing a Re:Zero game??
When it's time for you to explore, fight, or deal with certain situations, you go into adventure (ADV) mode and 2D images are ditched in favor of 3D chibi characters. You always play as Subaru, and your goal is to find enough information to help someone or get out of a battle alive. If you have enough intel, then one or two options involving other characters will become available and these characters will help you; if you didn't talk to the right person before, then nobody will come to your aid and things could be a little bit harder. Of course, this will also affect the outcome and lead to a bad ending for Subaru and friends, making you go back to square one and try something different. In fact, sometimes you actually have to die before learning something useful for your next loop!
We really found this mechanic to be fun, forcing you to explore everything and everyone... twice. However, don't expect it to be revolutionary or complex. It just works.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Re:Zero ~Starting Life in Another World~ The Prophecy of the Throne is far from being the best visual novel you can find, but we definitely love the plot and consider it a must for every Re:Zero fan. Just go with the flow and enjoy this side story as much as you would enjoy a spin-off OVA or manga/visual novel volume. Almost everything regarding Wolf the false candidate is rather predictable, but the journey is still enjoyable nonetheless!
An extra intriguing original story.
Although it's mostly a regular visual novel, the adventure and investigation sections are quite compelling.
Animation and illustration could have been better, more varied...
The plot is quite predictable from the beginning.
Hopefully you like dying and repeating the same parts of the story—from a new perspective—over and over again. It's Re:Zero, after all!
Honey's Final Verdict:
Are you planning to buy and play The Prophecy of the Throne, or did you already play it and finish it as soon as it came out? Either way, we hope you can find our review to be useful, and let us know in the comments how do you feel about this new adventure!
Author: Rod Locksley
Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...