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All of these are taken from the TV Tropes website.

Story and Game TropesEdit

  • Anachronic Order: Well, sort of. Being a visual novel, if you take one girl's route, the other routes simply just don't happen at all. Emily has said that because of how she wrote the game, she recommends playing the routes in the following order: Utako, Aya, Shizuka, Hinata, Mai. Though, of course, she doesn't enforce this and says that players are free to do the routes in any order they choose.
  • An Aesop: Each route has one, though none of them are blatantly spelled out for the player. Each route's moral is roughly as follows:
    • Utako: Others may not see things the same way you do, so learn to understand their point of view.
    • Aya: If you force things on people and have everything your way, they may not want to be around you.
    • Shizuka: Not everything is criticism, so don't let every little thing get to you.
    • Hinata: Having a problem doesn't make you less normal, and it's okay to ask for help.
    • Mai: It's okay to try something new, but you don't have to change yourself to get others to like you. 
  • Beige Prose/Brevity is Wit : The overall writing style and tone of the game is very to-the-point and doesn't delve into the details too often; it simply just tells the player what's happening and why it's happening.
  • Breather Episode: If you play the routes in the recommended order (Utako-Aya-Shizuka-Hinata-Mai), then Aya and Mai's routes qualify as this. 
    • In contrast to the overarching sadness in Utako's route, Aya's route has much more humorous elements and her problem is less serious and easier to fix. 
    • Hinata's route is probably the most serious of the game, with a darker and more serious topic. Mai's is generally played right after, and is considered to be the funniest route of the entire game.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each character's name is in a different color when they speak. Dark green for the player character, light blue for Utako, pink for Aya, light green for Shizuka, dark red/maroon for Hinata, lavender for Mai, red for the Queen, light purple/brown for Ryouta, dark blue for Daichi, purple for Chibana, and teal for Naoko.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: It's just your typical dating sim...with princesses! 
    • However, it's deconstructed a few times throughout the game, as every single route hints at the message of "princesses can have normal problems too": Utako feels too restricted, Aya can't control her temper, Shizuka starts secluding herself, Hinata has an anxiety disorder, and Mai wants to change herself.
  • Japanese Pronouns: Although the game lacks an official Japanese translation, Emily has made a list of each character's preferred pronoun:
    • Utako and Naoko use atashi, as they tend to be more casual/informal and tomboyish.
    • Aya and Kimiko use watakushi, as they are both extremely formal and old-fashioned.
    • Ryouta, Daichi, and Takahiro all use boku, a standard pronoun for boys their age, showing that they are not overtly formal, but do not want to come off as rude.
    • Shizuka, Hinata, Mai, and Chibana all use watashi, the standard pronoun that can be used by females in both casual and formal settings (though males generally only use it in formal settings).
  • Leitmotif: The princesses and queen each have one, and there are certain locations that have their own theme music as well.
    • Utako's is the most upbeat of the songs with a lot of acoustic guitar, showing her energetic and more down-to-earth nature.
    • Aya's is a violin and piano duet, showing her more tradionalist mindset and emphasis on behaving properly.
    • Shizuka's is a quiet, thoughtful, almost melancholy melody, displaying her shyness and quiet nature.
    • Hinata has a very melodic theme with a lot of piano and acoustic guitar. Hers is also the most complex song, fitting her complex personality.
    • Mai's theme flows smoothly, fitting with her dancing talent. It features acoustic guitar and flute, making it more "airy" than the other songs.
  • Meaningful Name: The princesses, the player, and the Queen all have them.
    • The name Takahiro was chosen as the default player name because it means "noble, prosperous", befitting of a guard.
    • Utako means "song child": she's a talented musician.
    • Aya means "color" or "design": she's a fashionista.
    • Shizuka means "quiet" or "static": she's shy and reserved.
    • Hinata means "sunflower" or "sunny place". She's a slight exception as she's not named after her talent or personality, she's named after her theme song, Sunflower Spring.
    • Mai means "dance": she's a dancer.
    • The Queen's first name, Kimiko, means "noble child": she's the Queen.
  • Medium Awareness: At various points in the game.
    • Two examples in Shizuka's route include:
      • Takahiro asking "Would it even be my choice to?" about telling Shizuka if she wrote a bad story.
      • Mai claims that Takahiro is the only one that can get Shizuka out of the library because "if I did it, this would go nowhere!"
  • Minimalism: The plots don't involve any sort of dire situation or crisis; at its core, the game is simply about a young boy who falls in love with a girl and helps her solve her problems.
  • Permanent Placeholder: The fashion montage in Aya's route simply consists of an upbeat song that wouldn't be out of place in a real runway show and the words "*insert awesome fashion show dress montage here*". It was originally just intended as a placeholder so Emily could work on the rest of the route then replace it with a real mini-montage later. However, Emily was unable to find uncopyrighted dress designs and figure out how to pan across the pictures, so the montage in the final game is literally just the music and the placeholder text. Emily has admitted that she's fine with it turning out that way, admitting she finds the game funnier because of it.
  • Shout-Out: Contains several.
    • In Utako's route, there's a party with guards getting drunk and one giving Takahiro a rant about feminism,  a nod to Katawa Shoujo, which Emily says is the first visual novel she's ever played.
    • The song Utako sings in the park in her route is actually a Ninja Sex Party song called "Accept my Shaft". The song is NSFW.
    • Chibana's repeated incidents involving birds and guys crashing through windows is a shout out to Hatoful Boyfriend, more specifically Anghel. Emily has admitted that Hatoful Boyfriend was a huge inspiration for the game, as she started programming Royalty Free the year she discovered HB.
  • Troubled Production: A downplayed example. Despite being fairly short, the game actually spent almost three years in production, having started development in 2013 and getting released in 2016. Much of the reason it took so long was because the entire game was created by just one high school girl, so she naturally had other commitments and couldn't devote every second of every day to the game.
    • Mai's route is actually a huge factor in why the game took so long: Emily knew what the basic concept of it would be, but just couldn't figure out what to do with said concept. 
  • What Could Have Been:
    • For starters, the game was originally not set in Japan, and all of the characters shared their names with the person Emily based them off of. The change to Japanese names came about due to Emily being unsure if her classmates would be okay with having their real names used, and the fact that visual novels are often associated with Japan. The files for the sprites are still marked with the original names; to see what everyone's original name was, see Write Who You Know below.
    • The King wasn't going to even be mentioned at first, but he was later added in as backstory.
    • A lot of the original endings were different before the summer 2016 rewrites.
      • Utako's good end originally involved convincing her to run away, and she and Takahiro end up living together in a tiny house. This was changed because Emily didn't want to give the message that running away will solve your problems and Takahiro would have only been on the guard for about two weeks at that point.
      • Shizuka's good end was originally Shizuka and Takahiro talking about how you just have to accept criticism because it's going to happen to everyone. This was changed because Emily felt it was too preachy and too short, instead becoming the current ending where Takahiro gets her out of the library.
      • The Act 1 Bad End originally ended with Takahiro quitting the guard while Ryouta and Daichi try to pick an outfit for him, all because he no longer wants to attend the Christmas party. Emily changed the ending to the current one, where Takahiro simply hangs out with Ryouta and Daichi at the party instead of one of the girls and continues being on the guard.
        • Emily admitted she hated the original ending because Takahiro hasn't even been on the guard very long at this point, and she cites not wanting to go to a party as a stupid reason to quit a job like that.
    • Also listed under Play to VN differences, there were originally two other princesses, Selina and Victoria,  for a total of seven overall. They were dropped from the game primarily because they weren't given very defined personalities, and the classmates they were based off of had transferred to different schools by the time the game entered development, thus not giving Emily much to work with. Emily also reveals that she never really knew them very well, anyway.
      • Desiree, the girl who was used as the basis for Mai, had also transferred just before the game entered development, but Emily kept her in since she knew Desiree slightly better than Selina and Victoria and had more ideas for her character.
      • Julia (Shizuka) transferred after the game had entered development, but her character had already been fleshed out and her route (mostly) written by then.
      • In fact, by the time Emily graduated high school, only Liz (Aya) and Kiara (Hinata) graduated with her, as the other four had transferred at different points throughout high school.
  • Write Who You Know : Pretty much every character in the game, appearance-wise, was based off of someone Emily knew from school.
    • Utako is based off of Emily herself, though Emily is not a royal and is more of an amateur musician.
    • Aya is based off of a classmate named Liz, though Liz was actually one of the nicer classmates and Aya's personality is completely different from Liz's.
    • Shizuka was based off of a classmate named Julia who was so quiet that you pretty much forgot she was there.
    • Hinata was based off of a classmate named Kiara, though hilariously enough, Emily has claimed that Hinata is actually nicer than Kiara!
    • Mai is based off of a classmate named Desiree. Of the four classmates she chose to base characters off of, Desiree was the one that Emily knew the least well so her personality was sort of made up.
    • Ryouta is based off of Emily's best friend, Brian, which is why Utako and Ryouta are best friends.
    • Daichi is based off of a friend named Alex. Alex and Emily met through Brian, hence why Ryouta and Daichi are friends.
    • Chibana is based off of a girl named Sarah that Emily knew at school due to them being assigned to each other for the year. Sarah often hung out with Emily and her group of friends despite being much younger, which is why Chibana does so as well. 
    • Naoko is based off of a close friend of Emily's named Corinne. Naoko's interests in gore and death stem from Corinne's own interests in the subjects.
    • The Queen is based off of Emily's eighth grade teacher, though said teacher actually adored Emily. The only reason that this is the case is because Emily first had this idea around eighth grade and therefore always imagined the Queen looking like that teacher.
    • Characters that honestly aren't based off of anyone are Hazuki and The King

Character TropesEdit

The Protagonist (Takahiro)Edit

  • Appeal to Worse Problems: In Utako's bad end, quoted below. This leads to her "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • Takahiro: "When you think about it, Utako-chan, your life isn't all that difficult. I mean, there are a lot of kids out there suffering with way worse problems than yours. You live in a giant castle, never have to worry about money, have people to cater to you, protect you. Your life's pretty good. A restrictive mother isn't that big of a problem."
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To Ryouta, if Daichi isn't around.
  • Freudian Trio: The Ego to Daichi's Superego and Ryouta's Id.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here/I Have Many Names: Since the game allows the player to choose their own name, both of these can result.
  • Innocently Insensitive: At times. Most of the bad ends involve him being this in some way, and in Mai's route he outright asks Mai if she's on her period (Mai, thankfully, doesn't seem too offended by the question).
  • Nice Guy: Generally comes off as this.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: He's the nice to Ryouta (mean) and Daichi (in-between): he generally tries to do the right thing and is very patient and kind, willing to deal with the girls' problems.
  • Understanding Boyfriend : Tries to be this to whichever girl he's with. For the most part, he succeeds.
  • What The Hell, Hero?: Takahiro is generally a nice guy, but when he screws up, the other characters WILL let him know.

The Nishihime Family (as a whole)Edit

  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Aya and Hinata (beauty), Shizuka and Kimiko (brains), Utako and Mai (brawn).
  • Four Temperament Ensemble: Among the sisters:
    • Mai is sanguine (cheerful and compassionate, but can be scatterbrained and emotionally unstable).
    • Aya is choleric (takes charge and gets things done, but can be bossy and domineering).
    • Hinata is melancholic (artistic and perfectionistic, but can be moody and too self-critical).
    • Shizuka is phlegmatic (docile and thoughtful, but can be shy and overly submissive).
    • Utako is eclectic (displays traits of all four temperaments).
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Id: Utako (follows her heart, doesn't listen to authority), and Mai (impulsive and follows her heart as well).
    • Superego: Aya (wants to do what's expected of her), and Kimiko (makes the rules, keeps everyone in line).
    • Ego: Shizuka and Hinata (the most balanced ones).

UtakoEdit

  • Boyish Short Hair: Has the shortest hair of all the princesses; she's the only one whose hair doesn't even reach her shoulders.
  • Daddy's Girl: She says in her route that she feels her father was the only one that let her be free to do what he wants, and makes it clear that she misses him deeply. It's also implied that she was his favorite.
  • First Girl Wins: If you focus on her route.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Eclectic: she shows traits of all four temperaments and doesn't completely fit into a single one.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: She is sick of the royal life, and desires to go live a normal teenage life with her father.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives Takahiro a particularly scathing one in her bad end, quoted below.
    • Utako: "Is that really what you think? Then clearly you don't understand me at all. You think I have it easy because I was born into a life of luxury? A life that, frankly, I don't really care about? I didn't choose my life, Takahiro! I was born into it! My problems aren't material or financial! They're emotional! Psychological! On the inside! You think I want to be in a family that's constantly treating me like I'm not good enough? Like I'm just nothing but a screw-up? No! You just think I'm some pampered little princess with no real problems or struggles!"
    • Takahiro: "That's not what I--"
    • Utako: "Yeah. It is what you meant. I really thought you understood, Takahiro. But I guess I was wrong about you."
  • Rebellious Princess : Becomes increasingly more apparent as the story goes on.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Aya.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The tomboy to Aya's girly girl.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak : She can be seen as this, as she doesn't seem to have a problem wiith wearing a dress all the time and isn't enough of a tomboy to completely disassociate with girly things.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Utako is frequently picked on by her family, yet she's popular among the game's small fanbase due to many of them believing that she doesn't deserve the treatment she gets.

AyaEdit

  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When she discovers that everyone's avoiding her.
  • The Fashionista: Her talent in clothing design and sewing pretty much cements her as this among her sisters.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric: she's the most anger-prone and tends to be very bossy and domineering.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Her main problem that she must overcome.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Averted. Aya is right in the middle of her sisters in terms of age (she's younger than Shizuka/Hinata but older than Mai/Utako), but she easily has one of the best relationships with the Queen.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: It's the color of her dress, and most of the things she sews in-game are pink.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Easily has the longest hair of all her sisters, reaching down to her butt.
  • Sibling Rivalry: With Utako
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Utako's tomboy.
  • The Scrappy: In-Universe, she's actually the least favorite princess among most of the castle's workers due to her overly-abrasive and demanding attitude. Out-of-universe, she's easily the least popular princess in the fanbase.

ShizukaEdit

HinataEdit

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: She was a brunette in the play, and was originally intended to stay one, but Emily accidentally gave her original sprite dark red hair instead. The VN's actual sprite artist, Viki, kept the color intact.
  • Artistic License - Pharmacology: It only takes about a week for Hinata's prescription to kick in fully. While not completely unheard of, most people on SSRIs are still dealing with side-effects at this point and not really feeling the full benefits of the drug until a few more weeks after.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic: she's artistic and perfectionistic but tends to be very critical of her own mistakes.
  • Sanity Slippage: Slowly undergoes one over the course of her route, but in her bad end, she seems to have completely gone off the deep end.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: In her route, telling her to go on the medication is the correct choice. If Takahiro tells her not to, then he is "rewarded" with what is possibly the most heartbreaking ending of the game. Hinata's route carries a moral to not be afraid of needing some help, even if that help means medicating.

MaiEdit

  • Buffy Speak: Happens a few times in her route 
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine: cheerful and compassionate, but isn't very emotionally stable.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: She's a graceful dancer who wears purple....she is this trope.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Not as prominent as Aya's, but she has her moments.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: She believes that she isn't as interesting as her sisters and makes it her goal to stand out more. 
  • Last Girl Wins : If you focus on her route.
  • Stylistic Suck: Her painting and guitar playing both qualify. Her painting was made by Emily in MS paint in about five minutes and her guitar playing was Emily using an old, out of tune guitar recorded with a bad microphone.

The QueenEdit

  • Base-Breaking Character: The Queen is easily the most divisive character in the game.
    • Some believe that she crossed the Moral Event Horizon when she outright said to Utako that she'd love her more if she was like Aya and don't think the attempt at redeeming her in Utako's good end is enough to make up for that.
    • Some believe her when she says she simply phrased it badly, and often use Hinata's route as an example of her being a caring and supporting mother. 
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Utako thinks she's this, but it's ultimately somewhat averted, since she's the only one who seems to think so. As it turns out, the Queen isn't always the best at phrasing things.
  • The High Queen: This one's kind of a given.

RyoutaEdit

  • Cloudcuckoolander: Tends to come off this way sometimes.
  • Freudian Trio: The Id to Daichi's Superego and Takahiro's Ego.
  • Keet : He has his moments.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The mean to Takahiro (nice) and Daichi (in-between), though it's really only in comparison to the two of them. He did trip Shizuka for fun once, and is often the most tactless of the trio.

DaichiEdit

ChibanaEdit

  • Weirdness Magnet: Ramdom people jumping off the castle roof? Jumping through windows? Destroying the laundry? Chances are that 90% of the time Chibana is the one that'll be dealing with it.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Despite being the youngest person in the castle, she has a surprising amount of maturity and is capable of understanding things that she shouldn't be able to understand.

NaokoEdit

  • Nightmare Fetishist: She's very intrigued by gore and death, probably more so than she should be, and freely jokes about both.