We had a friend join us for the weekend, and he showed us a game. People who read this may or may not be aware of the existence of games called dating sims, where you play the part of (normally) a guy who is in a situation where there are lots of girls, usually high school. The idea is to get one of them to go out with you. Well, the game we were introduced to this weekend was similar but different - you are given a ten-year old girl to look after. It's called 'Princess Maker' and, for want of a better word, it's a parenting sim. It is horribly addictive, and this is coming from someone who managed to avoid almost all the plot in the game.
You start with a long introduction where you, the player, personally defeat the Prince of Darkness in close combat. As a result of this, a kingdom is saved and the King and Queen award you a house and a salary in gratitude. Some while later, while walking at night, you are accosted by a god/goddess who gives you an innocent nine-year-old 'daughter', whom you have to raise from ten to eighteen, helped by a butler called Cube, who has pointy ears and black wings.
It's made difficult by the lack of money - the salary you get barely pays for anything, so you have to send your daughter out to work. She gains things (like cooking experience from restaurant work) and loses things (like charisma, if you work in the graveyard), as well as earning money to spend on food, gifts and education. I found it very amusing that sending my daughter to learn science raised her intelligence but lowered her faith and magic defence. You also have to give her some time off so her stress level doesn't get too high. When it gets too high, she refuses to work (and so doesn't get paid) and won't work at school (but you still pay for the lesson). Anyway, as well as work, school and time off, you can also send her on adventures to the area around the city. I brought my daughter up working at the restaurant, which lowered her combat skills to zero, so, given the choice between earning money and getting knocked out by every monster I ran into, I chose to have her earn money and she never went on another adventure. I didn't realise that if you carry on adventuring you can get money that way - Moonshadow's daughter mugs merchants to pay for her education (!)
However, it appears that plot lies outside the city. The Hologram's daughter ended up getting married to a dragon she met in the desert although she later chatted up a prince. Moonshadow's daughter has just met the Prince of Darkness, who offered to raise her stats. My daughter missed out on all that, and grew up elegant and refined and won the cooking contest at the festival. When she turned eighteen, she wrote me a nice little letter saying thank you for the education (which her work paid for) and how much she enjoyed learning poetry (which was the school option that raised more of her stats for less money) and that the chef in the town restaurant couldn't have coped without her. She became an artist but never married, which I think isn't too bad a fate. Her patron deity told me it was because she had low morals, which is obviously a slight on my parenting ability.
I may try again later, but for now I'll leave it like it is. Phoenix Feathers will continue despite my acquisition of another highly addictive time sink. Next Tuesday, those who were asking on the wiki what 'chibi' means will find out ^.^
- Sun Kitten, 15th April '03