Review: Time Princess - The Sacred Beast

The Sacred Beast was the third and final story released in the massive update from Time Princess a little over a month ago. Set in Persia, this is the second middle eastern visual novel in the game since Magic Lamp. It focuses on the mythology of the manticore, the legendary beast with the body of a lion and a scorpion tail. I found this story charming and different from the other visual novels in this game so far. Instead of focusing on romance or history, it follows the formula of movies like Lassie, emphasizing the love between a human and her loyal pet. The cultural fashions in this book were stunning. I found that I liked them much better than the craftable items in Magic Lamp. There were also many different directions that the player could take, resulting in a variety of endings, unlike Cleopatra, which was deceptively linear.

The Sacred Beast visual novel cover

The Sacred Beast is about a young lady named Asha, who works hard to care for her sick brother. When she learns of a valuable mushroom that could treat his illness or grant her the money she needs for medicine, she braves the dangers of the forbidden forest and encounters a fearsome manticore. If the player chooses to help the manticore, he becomes Asha's loyal companion and her gateway into a life of leisure at the palace. From this point, the story can take many different turns depending on who the player chooses to trust. I enjoyed all of the twists and potential outcomes. The only thing that bothered me is that there is no option for Asha to give the healing mushroom to her brother, and very little of the story focuses on her desire to save him despite that being her original motivation. Her brother is even the one to name the manticore Corey, which sticks for the remainder of the story.

There are three companions in this story, but only one of them has the potential to become a love interest, and it was not the one I was hoping for. Each of these companions is hiding a dark secret. These twists provide excellent motivation for players to play each available path and uncover their mysteries one by one. Aside from their secret motivations, each companion also has a secret superpower. Yasmin, the king's guard, is the first to reveal her special ability, which is the power to know when someone is lying. Reza, the palace secretary, has a mysterious ability that is revealed later on, as well as Yazdan, the lazy prince. Since this is so common in this world, the king assumes that Asha has the ability to control the manticore, but in actuality, Corey is simply indebted to her after she saved his life. The true love story is between Corey and Asha, which gives it some vague similarities to "Beauty and the Beast" without the romantic aspects. Corey is by far the most loyal and genuine character that Asha encounters even though some of the others may seem that way at first.

The Sacred Beast has some striking ancient Persian fashions that include some of the most beautiful veils that Time Princess has to offer. There is an outfit for every occasion, including one that mirrors Yasmin's royal guard uniform, which looks like fantasy video game armor. My favorite dress is the formal one that makes Asha look like an exotic flower. It has a pink off-the-shoulder bodice that flairs out into a green and gold overskirt and a split pink underskirt with a partly transparent midpiece. Even the maid uniform that Asha uses for disguises is lovely with a long flowing mint green top over matching pants and a silver tiara-like headpiece. These are the sorts of fantasy looks that I would have preferred over the neutral-colored heavy desert robes of Magic Lamp.

Overall, The Sacred Beast is an excellent addition to the Time Princess library. It has a few familiar elements, such as the middle eastern setting and the twist villain ending, but it's a pretty original story in terms of plot. It's the first time I've seen the "boy and his dog" trope taken in this direction with a young woman instead of a boy and a loyal manticore instead of a dog. I enjoyed seeing a story that focuses so heavily on the manticore, a mythological creature that is often referenced in stories such as Dark Angel and The Last Unicorn but rarely focused on. Anyone who has a pet would particularly enjoy this visual novel as Corey often behaves just like a real puppy.


Lucilla said…
Could you tell me who the love interest is and some of the twists? Idk if there is a spoiler function you can add, cuz I definitely want to know who the love interest is (I'm stuck in this game and can't progress further due to crafting ugh)
Lisa Dawn said…
Oh gosh, reading your comments made me realize how quickly I forgot a lot of these series because they keep churning out new ones so quickly! I think this one is old enough to give some spoilers. I'll skip a few lines so people who don't want to know can stop reading.

As far as I can recall, Reza turns out to be evil, and Yazdan is basically the canon love interest who moonlights as an assassin or something and pretends to be lazy as a cover.
Anonymous said…
Is there anyway to save Corey?

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