The heroine named Lied lives in a musical but also magical city called Shall ( シャル) where objects or even animals can speak. She grew up in a orphanage with her one and only family, Soprano. After a series of “lost sound” occurrences, because Lied isn’t affected by it, she ends up as a member of the Royal Orchestra.
The story starts with Lied practicing with two kids named Peter and Clara who live at the orphanage for a Christmas performance (along with a talking bird named Sorprano). Just as they begin practicing again, a man named Hart appears. Lied doesn’t recognize him but Clara explains he’s the master of the royal orchestra; a large place where performances take place by select individuals during festivals or special occasions. Hart is the conductor of the royal orchestra and visits many performances all over Shall. Clara tries to ask Hart about meeting one of the other guys part of the orchestra but Hart takes no shit and shoves Soprano (the talking bird) into Clara’s mouth to shut her up lmao.
When Hart hear’s Lied’s performance, he straight up tells her its awful and asks why she plays if she knows she’s bad at it. Lied tells him she loves playing the organ regardless and so he asks her name and tells her to try improving along with the children at the orphanage. After that, Lied walks home with Soprano. He ends up getting caught by a cat and taken away. When she finds him, she encounters a strange man named Vissie who is surrounded by cats. Lied asks him to let him go since he’s her family and so he finally does since he can see he’s important to him (evem if he finds Soprano to be cat bait lmao).
The next day, Lied goes to work at the library that one of the sister’s allowed her to work at. In doing so, she organizes music scores (which she can’t read apparently). She ends up tripping and running into a man she knows from the library named Clavier. She tells him about a dream she keeps having about a long line from her feet and hearing a baby’s cry. Clavier suggests it could have to do with musical scores so Lied leaves to believe that learning how to read scores will help her understand her dream.
Afterwords, Lied along with Clara and Peter, are given tickets to see the orchestra that Hart will conduct. Unfortunately, she ends up almost losing her ticket and in the process, runs into two cops. One of them named Rudolph arrests her, claiming she has stolen tickets. In the end she manages to convince him she was lost and they run into a boy named Dee who was trying to sneak into the concert. Lied tells Clara and Peter she can’t get in since the tickets are fake, but Clavier manages to get her in saying the police should compensate for their mistake.
After Lied hears the concert, its interrupted when a harsh sound is heard. Arushe suggests they rid the cause and suddenly his instrument turns into a weapon and he has a sword to a players throat. Lied yells out for him to stop and they all look at her in shock. But regardless, Arushe ends up slashing the guy. Hart says that this “lost sound” is the darkness of Shall. After that, a man and woman talk with Lied and explain they’re a group called “Fatalität”. The man, Eisen asks for her power and the woman, Bianca explains their organization deals with “the loss of sound” in their city. Apparently the symptoms vary from person to person but has caused people to lose their ability to play music or forgetting how to sing. In the worst case scenarios, people can end up not hearing sound anymore. So after they leave, Lied decides she’ll help them for the sake of finding her purpose.
So Lied goes to the Royal Orchestra palace to live there. Its then Aisen introduces her to everyone and explains how everyone there has a power called “färga” (I try looking up the orgins of these words and I think it means ‘to color’ in Swedish?) Anyway, he gets Hart to introduce all the members. With heart being the conductor, Visse is the pianist, Dee plays the Cello, Clavier plays the harpsichord, and Arche plays the violin. So Aisen goes on to explains that during the incident of the “lost sound” everyone in the audience suffered some sort of damage and ammesia (like Clara and Peter unable to sing after it) except for Lied who also remembered everything about the incident.
So after that, Lied is given a map and asked to take a look at it so she can navigate the mansion. She ends up running into Vissie sleeping one day and he tells her she’s probably better off leaving. She also runs into Clavier who’s tuning the instruments. She asks him to show her his work so he takes her to where he works. He takes her to a warehouse full of gifts to Arche. Apparently he had a scheduled date so Bianca was readying him for it and looking for a gift he’d bring. And as a prank by Dee goes wrong, an explosion ends up turning Soprano into yakitori lmao. When they realize the accessory is broken, Lied offers to go to town to get it fixed.
On Lied’s way to town, she spots Hart speaking with an older woman who was the mother of ‘Noran’ aka the man who died during the concert due to his ‘loss of sound’. She tells Hart to get out of her sight even as he apologizes. Hart ends up spotting Lied and he explains how he plans to eleminate all darkness in sound. Soon Dee arrives with Soprano and Hart disappears somewhere. She ends up trying to fix the accessory at a shop with Dee but they turn them down saying that only a woman who used to work there could fix it. After that, they end up finding a broken doll in the alley that speaks in broken words since its broken. It ends up becoming engulfed in darkness because its sound is corrupted.
Dee awakens to his power and summons a large weapon used to destroy the darkness in sounds. Lied manages to speak with the doll and after hearing its feelings, Dee uses his weapon to destroy the darkness. They manage to find the glass rose on its head to use for the acessory that was for Arche. After that, strange incidents happen in the mansion like someone touching Bianca’s butt, Arche’s clothes getting ruined, someone stealing Aisen’s cookie, and Dee getting paint all over him. So, Aisen calls a meeting to discuss about finding the culprit for these cases.
That night, Lied hears voices while in the shower so it freaks her out. She ends up running to the training room where Hart is. He’s about to tell her to shut up but when he realizes she’s still in a towel and basically naked, he tells her to stay back all embarrassed lmao. After changing into clothes, Lied explains she heard a voice. He tells her that she can most likely hear the voices within sounds so its likely another incident will occur like with Noran (who he still feels guilty about). Regardless, Lied is too scared to go back to her room alone so Hart accompanies her. They end up hearing Vissie playing the piano and visit him. Hart explains that Vissie ends up playing the piano whenever he has free time which is why he always falls asleep all the time.
Meanwhile, Vissie is acting strange so Lied consults Clavier who tells her a little bit about his past and how his mother give him strict training growing up as a pianist. Lied finds him in the courtyard napping again and wakes him up. Apparently the voices she heard wete coming from him so she manages to calm him down. After that, they find out the culprit of the incidents being cats that Vissie kept hidden in the mansion. However, the mystery of Bianca’s butt being touched remains a mystery and Clavier being the culprit lmao.
So with a performance coming up, Aisen announces to everyone in the orchestra that they’ll be having interviews and the Princess of Vertonia is coming to visit. With Arche being a ladies man, they want him to show the princess around the town before the performance. After Bianca suggests he has a sort of manager come with him, Arch requests Lied to come with him. So the next day, Lied follows Arche around while preparing his busy schedule. During that day, she encounters Hart. He brings her to the theater and tells her to play to see if she improved.
Lied is intimidated at first and brings up how she heard from the Sister at the orphanage that Hart used to play the piano but stopped. She doesn’t ask why but believes the music he composes is wonderful. Its then Arche appears and teases Hart. He then tells Hart to fire Clavier from the orchestra since he doesn’t believe he’s good enough anymore and Hart agrees to do as he says. He also mentions how Hart is his childhood friend. Meanwhile, Arche visits the princess named Fier after she gets off the boat and escorts her around the mansion.
After that, Dee finds out that Arche kicked Clavier out of the orchestra and gets pissed off. After the drama concludes, Lied tries to talk with Arche. He says he can tell she’s trying to cheer him up and thanks her but says its not necessary. On the day of the performance, they find out Fier’s country was already destroyed long ago. Just before Lied and the others can tell Arche, his performance begins and the doors are locked. Fier reveals her true colors and is already darked by the loss of sound. She reveals her country is long gone and everyone is dead while lives and wants to die. Just as she’s about to attack Arche, Hart appears and protects him. In the end, they supposedly defeat her but then a music box appears with an eerie sound and she vanishes. After that, Arche apologizes to Clavier and makes up with him and Hart; finally softening up. He recruits Clavier back into the orchestra and says he’ll stay there even though he isn’t fond of Shall’s music.
One day, Lied talks to the commander who tells her he believes she should stay because everyone wants to know her better including himself. After that, she bumps into Hart who is looking for Dee. They look all over but can’t find him. Lied asks why Dee doesn’t play in the orchestra and Hart explains he isn’t good at taking control of not only his färga, but his performance as well. Not only that, but even though he doesn’t perform, he doesn’t have anywhere else to go since his mother sold him. After that, a meeting is held for Clavier to announce that he is leaving the orchestra to better his performance and his own power since he believes the weakest there.
Lied encounters Vissie and Dee arguing after Dee wrecked the flowerbed in the garden. After that, Clavier makes a final request to visit a hot springs as a group trip since he never attended school and couldn’t experience something like that before. Everyone agrees expect Dee who’s still in a pissed mood. After that, Arushe, Clavier, and Vissie go on their trip to the hot springs but Lied decides to stay behind. She buys a sandwich for Dee in town and meets up with him near the theater. They make mischief around the mansion by drawing on Arushe’s posters, but then Dee gets depressed again and mentions he only destroys. He shows her the flowerbed and Lied realizes he was trying to practice playing the cello but his power was too strong and he ended up destroying them.
After that, instruments are broken in the theater so the performers all blame Dee and call the police to arrest him. Dee ends up accepting his fate but before he’s taken away, his cello turns into a weapon again and makes a harsh sound. Lied tells him to believe in his cello’s voice because it wants him to play it. In the end, Dee attempts to play and then Hart appears giving him a message from Clavier lol. So Dee continues to play the cello until he finally plays it properly. Everyone is so enchanted by it they forget the situation amd apologize to Dee for accusing him. Dee is finally back to normal but he and Lied get chased by Arushe who found his vandalized posters lmao.
One day, as Hart is visiting many performances in Shall, he comes across the music box that attacked and saved Fier from before. Just as he tries to attack her, Hart is shot in the shoulder and she escapes. As Christmas draws near, the christmas performance is coming up. In addition, a christmas tree is put up in the hallway of the mansion and Clavier tells everyone to put their wishes on the tree. Suddenly Bianca comes through the door to tell everyone Hart was injured. They all rush to the hospital to find Hart who awakes to Lied’s voice after telling her she’s loud lol. He thanks them all for visiting and says he still promises to do his best with the performance and asks to rely on all of them.
Meanwhile, Lied stays with Hart after everyone leaves to practice. Bianca and Aisen come visit as well and Hart tells them that there is another culprit in the lost sounds aside from Fier who they previously fought. After that, Hart continues to practice even though he’s still in pain. He endures it for the sake of the performance and Lied gives him some muffins he never got to try since Arushe ate them lol. After Lied gets into an argument with Soprano, he stops talking with her. Later, Vissie shows Lied a pregnant cat that’s staying in his room until winter is over lol. Soon its christmas and Lied’s christmas performance at the orphanage comes up. She plays the organ after much practice. She starts crying though because Soprano is gone and runs out of the church.
Lied runs into a crowd with christmas lights and begins blocking her eyes to not hear anything. She suddenly bumps into the same mysterious hooded guy she’s bumped into numerous times (he helped her when she almost fell) and he just stares at her, asking if she wants to rid the sound. He says he’ll erase it but just before he can do anything, Hart and the police arrive. Hart asks if he’s the culprit behind the “loss of sound” and he immediately laughs his ass off lol. The hooded man tells him that he wants to erase the darkness within the sound which basically means erasing Shall itself. Everyone else arrives to try and fight him but then the music box that appeared before makes him stop and escapes along with him and Fier.
After that, Lied tells everyone she was too upset to play during her performance because she feels as though she’d disappoint everyone in the orphanage like Clara and Peter. With Soprano gone, she felt alone and lost. Everyone tells her that she’s not alone though and suddenly she hears voices through a broadcast. Clara, Peter, and the Sister sing and perform ‘Silent Night’ for her. She then notices Soprano on her shoulder who’s returned. She starts crying and hugging him tightly, thankful that he’s back.
Final Thoughts: I wasn’t really expecting a game that seemed to be focused on classical music to actually have more action and dark pasts with everyone. I can tell this game has it’s flaws but I love the theme of it and I have a soft spot for classical music (you have no idea how sick I am of seeing idols left and right nowadays). Extend actually has impressed me so far with their games because they feel so much more original and out of the box (Otomate seemingly doesn’t have much originality these days). I wouldn’t say it was as good as Side Kicks! but it definitely was a fun game. My biggest complaint were some plot holes and the end of Apostle’s route felt rushed. The reason this is such a bad thing for a game like this is that his route was obviously sort of the true end with a “big reveal” but it doesn’t reveal a whole lot… I mean it does reveal things but you’re left wanting more content and feeling like it felt unfinished. Lied was such a cute heroine though, and I really liked the characters in this game. But yeah flaws and all this was still a fun game overall.
Story – This game definitely started out great and I think the plot overall isn’t bad. However, everyone’s routes tend to be more focused on the character themselves rather than what’s actually happening in the present time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make it seem like there’s less content because the routes aren’t very long. Because of this, each route has it’s own plot that reveals a little bit of main plot here and there. Unfortunately, there are certain things that seemed like it could be explained better and not everything is fully explained even in the “true route”. But if you like classical music and something more history orientated, you’re in for a treat. Especially if you have a interest in Beethoven because this game will give you a bit of a history lesson as well. That being said, the plot is a bit scattered at times and nothing is fully revealed until the end.
Characters – If I had to rate what was best in this game, I’d say the characters (then the music). These characters were great and all so likable that I couldn’t help but smile during certain scenes. Even some of the sub characters (like Rudolph) were so cute and quirky. Its because of this their interactions with each other are so cute and I just love how every character is close with each other. Because of this, Lied is pretty much adorable with all of them. I also like how its clear the game wanted to focus on these characters and their past. Also, characters like Hart/Arushe and Dee/Clavier have a sort of interesting relationship which you don’t always see in otome games.
Visuals & System – I think a lot of people were really iffy about the art style of this game when you first lays eyes on it. I won’t lie, I first thought it looked kind of strange. It’s definitely a unique style that I’ve never seen with an otome game before. But it really grew on me after I started playing. It’s actually very pretty and a lot of the CGs were super cute! I was quite impressed with the backgrounds too. It really gave you an idea of what the atmosphere in Shall was supposed to be like. As for the system, the sprites move like in Side Kicks! and in addition actually has a heroine sprite.
Music – As a game about music, you definitely expect the soundtrack to be a main factor. It didn’t disappoint though and there were some very beautiful tracks in the game. I think the composer worked on Atelier games (which a super plus because I love Atelier OSTs). It even incorporated music played by instruments and actual Beethoven songs, too. What I really liked about this game is that it gives you a reason to actually not skip the ending because each character’s ending song is sung by the voice actors themselves and the instruments you hear in their song correlate to what they play in the game’s story. I think my favorite was probably Clavier’s though because suzuken has such a beautiful voice and this is why I listen to all of Masato’s songs on UtaPri.
Overall Thoughts: This was such a cute game so I’m sad it’s over. I think this gives me a lot of hope for Extend’s future titles. It definitely has it’s flaws, but it didn’t keep me bored. It focused a lot on music but wasn’t full of anguish all the time and actually was quite lighthearted. I was very satisfied with how many CGs it provided with the game’s entirety, although I some CGs felt more unnecessary than others at times. My favorite ended up being Hart but Apostle was such a close second. If his route expanded a bit more, and gave more to his character, I think he would’ve ended up being my favorite. Unfortunately, even though his route had a good build-up, it was a bit on the lackluster side and the end itself was anti-climatic imo. Anyway, as for a route order recommendation, you’re probably best doing:
‘Arushe –> Dee –> Clavier –> Visse –> Hart –> Apostle’
Clavier is locked until you do Dee but… I’m not gonna lie, I don’t feel like it was really necessary? It’s not like it spoils much from Dee’s route, honestly. I did Hart’s route first actually (because I have a thing for doing my bias first) and it revealed more plot than anyone’s route so lol don’t do it first if you want something more consistent. Anyway, I can tell the plot isn’t the main focus of this game but I definitely see why people say it feels almost… ‘unfinished’. It’s more like there feels like there could’ve been more to what you got. BUT, what made up for that are the wonderful cast of characters. I ended up liking all of them and they were all so cute. So if you’re looking for something straight up plot focused, then this probably won’t be very satisfying. BUT if you love classical music and enjoy quirky, cute characters you’ll probably really enjoy this game.