Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~
Wintertide Miracles Is An Epilogue To Code: Realize’s Console VN Epic
The Code: Realize series began in 2015 on the PlayStation 4 as one of the first console otome games to be localized in the west, beginning with Guardian of Rebirth, which details the main story. There are two “epilogue” sequels titled Code: Realize Future Blessings and Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~, both of which figure “what if?” scenarios with the former taking place after Code: Realize Guardian of Rebirth and the latter taking place in the distant future around Christmastime.
Both games aren’t necessarily sequels, but it’s best to consider both games as two different forks in a path. I mention all of this because as I was playing Wintertide Miracles I wasn’t sure if I had missed something gravely important when previous events were mentioned. I mentioned during the recording that it felt as if I was in the middle of an anime series and I just caught the tail end of an important arc only to enter the Christmas special.
The ‘Christmas OVA’ Variant Of An Ongoing Story
For players completely new to the series, that’s the best way I can explain Wintertide Miracles. It’s that one Christmas OVA episode for one of your favorite series, but nothing will make a lick of sense unless you watch the original series first. Coincidentally, the original Code: Realize story did receive an anime adaptation, so this analogy is perfectly valid. This leaves me in a weird predicament, not having any knowledge of the series beforehand, in previewing Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ but I was able to understand the gist of the story within the first five minutes.
This is one of the details that this game does right in that it does a fairly decent job in recapping the events of Guardian of Rebirth, at least, if you start the story as Lupin as I did. Because this is a spinoff “what if?” sequel, the heroine, Cardia, can be chosen to partake in Christmas with any of the heroes featured in the previous title.
Code: Realize Encourages ‘Causing Chaos’
Suitors from various stories of legend including the Gentleman Thief Arsene Lupin, the detective Sherlock Ho--Herlock Sholmes, and the reformed mad scientist Victor Frankenstein are among many to choose from by default. The player also has the option to “spur chaos” by dating more than one person at a time, offering unique and amusing scenes. The option to do such a thing alone shows that this is a game meant to be filled with fluff, a stark contrast to the high stakes raised in the previous title.
For the majority of Lupin’s story, he’s meant to overcome his emotions for the main girl, Cardia, as the mere thought of her begins to shape every form of his life. This drives him to invite her to a Christmas celebration held by the Queen at the behest of one of his close friends. Each story takes quite a while to finish, some upwards of several hours, but each story is meant to be straightforward without any deviating paths. Even the choices given to me were more of comical relief more than choices that would determine the fate of a specific character.
Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ Puts Suitors In The Hot Seat
A unique trait to the otome genre is that rather than playing as the protagonist, I was playing through the perspective of the man who she’s courting, Lupin. Games in which you assume the role of the character that is the protagonist’s object of desire is a rare one in romance visual novels as it offers a perspective one doesn’t see usually. It also makes their inevitable “win” with the protagonist sweeter as it’s already a foregone conclusion that the protagonist will hook up with the suitor.
At least, this is my opinion anyway, as I mentioned in the Piofiore preview that these types of games are designated for a specific audience in mind. Visual novels, especially of the otome kind, are not everyone’s cup of tea but it is good to read and witness from time. Sometimes, you just want to feel good and watch love prevail rather than shoot a zombie in the head, I understand more than anyone, and the Code: Realize series may just be something I’d look into towards the future when I wish to change things up.
Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ is available on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.