Note: Review Code provided by Yangyang Mobile.
The first all yuri game by Yangyang Mobile who subtly included it in their debut title, The Letter. Now we get to see a tale with it in the forefront. So join me as we find out whether this tale set in a magical city that sometimes shines of gold is worthy of experiencing. This is Perfect Gold: The Alchemy of Happiness.
Genres: Drama, Magic, Romance, Visual Novel, Yuri
Length: 4-5 Hours
Audrey Clary, an alchemy student and heiress who secretly dreams of a different life, and Marion LaRue, a rebellious elemental magic student in search of someone she once loved.
Marion is not having a fun day at all. What was meant to be a harmless little fire turned into an explosion that has her stuck in detention, missing out on one of the rare opportunities for her to enjoy life outside the academy. And of course she just had to be stuck with Audrey, of all the high class LeFay students she could be in detention with.
Determined to not miss out on the long-awaited festival, Audrey and Marion begrudgingly work together to escape detention and find their way to the festival. As they explore the city and celebrate the Sunflower Festival together, an old friendship is rekindled, and new feelings begin to bloom.
Perfect Gold is the story of two girls who were once very close but due to a big argument that is explored in several flashbacks throughout the story become resentful toward each other. Audrey is an ojou-sama with a heart of gold, respected by many but scorned by the snooty. Marion is an energetic hothead who means well but loses her temper quickly. Their relationship has been explored before: Two former friends who had a big fight forced to work together after a long time apart and, if the right decisions are made, possibly rekindle what was once thought lost forever and more. However, what makes it work so well here is the classic formula of “Taking a familiar story and adding enough extra spices to make it feel special despite its familiarity”. In this case it is the setting and well developed characters who not only explore how they feel about each other but themselves and the people around them.
Without giving too much away a big reason for their relationship falling apart had to do with responsibility and fear of change or progress. Cannot go into specifics because it of course plays a major role in their personal and relationship development. What they want to accomplish and how it affects themselves and possibly others. It is one of those stories where the answer may be obvious to the “plreader” (play-read) but by putting themselves in the shoes of the heroines can potentially understand why the two have great difficulty finding the answers they seek.
Going back to the setting “plreaders” learn about the world, its society, the LeFay Academy and the citizens’ views of themselves and others, both good and ill. From my experience it was a mix of fantasy and present day circumstances to a degree. Like the development of our protagonists it too is well done. It would be interesting to explore other stories in this setting. Even the title, Perfect Gold, has several different meanings or interpretations from literal, metaphorical and visual. Nice touch. The LGBT theme refers to some characters, background and side-characters, representing other letters besides the L. Another nice touch.
The presentation is excellent. The graphics, art style and animation are lovely from the characters’ breathing during cut scenes, the colorful sunset backgrounds and especially the animation in the CGI scenes. It reminds me of the CG in some Japanese VNs or for a Western example, Visual Novels by Razzart. In the audio department the soundtrack is the old reliable “classical music x yuri” combination that usually delivers. This is another example of a melodious soundtrack. Not to mention the excellent voice acting. Even the extras voicing multiple background characters did a pretty good job interpreting the mostly snooty and nosy.
The yuri, provided sufficient favorable choices are made, is lovely. Even when upset our heroines cannot get each other out of their minds, in more ways than mere besties, if you know what I mean.
Overall Perfect Gold: The Alchemy of Happiness is a short and very sweet title that delivers in fun, beauty, loveliness and even potentially tugging at some “plreaders” heartstrings. It certainly tugged at mine anyway in a few moments. The main ladies are excellent, the side-characters do a good job, the setting is neat, the presentation is great and the yuri is lovely. Recommended to people looking for a title that takes a familiar setup and works magic with it.
The game is available on Steam.