Review: Time Princess - Hela's Compass

Hela's Compass is the shorter of the two visual novels that were released this month in Time Princess. In a surprising change of pace, this was not another story about demons. Instead, it opens up a new cross genre that combines science fiction and Norse mythology. The book is only one chapter long, which is a shame because there could have been a lot to unpack within these two genres. The shorter format made it felt rushed and difficult to follow at times. I loved the whimsical world and costumes as well as the fact that it was the first story in a while in this game to incorporate royalty, this time in relation to gods and goddesses like they did with Helen of Sparta. This story could have been even more enjoyable than it already is if more time and effort had been put into it.

Hela's Compass visual novel cover from Time Princess

Hela's Compass is about a navigator named Kelly who works on a futuristic ship called the Iron Wyvern that shares the unfortunate fate of the Titanic. Kelly embarks on a quest with her crewmates, Neil and Tammy, to uncover a mystery that an old man presented to her regarding her father's death. Along the voyage in the frozen Arctic, the crew discovers a magical compass that contains symbols of Norse gods. When Kelly acquires the compass, she has strange dreams where she becomes Hela, the daughter of the Norse god Loki, and is treated as a princess in the mythological land of Asgard. At first, I thought the story might be heading in the direction of discovering her true identity as royalty, but it turned out these were visions of the past that were sent to her by Hela to show humankind the truth about the gods.

Tammy is a companion in Hela's CompassKelly has visions of Loki, who speaks to her as if she is HelaNeil is an oceanographer in Hela's Compass

This story has two potential companions, but I didn't feel particularly drawn to either one of them. Tammy is a bit nicer because she doesn't try to get the compass from Kelly through lies or greed. However, I didn't feel like there was much to her character overall. Neil comes off as an intellectual at first and turns out to be rather selfish, though he never poses too much of a threat. I think this story would have been a lot more interesting if there had been a companion in the mythological world of Asgard because I was more interested in that aspect than the arctic voyage. This story struggled with a bit of an identity crisis. It had two very big concepts to present without enough story levels to fully flesh out either of them. I hope the app releases a visual novel in the future that goes into more depth about Norse mythology or science fiction.


The outfits in Hela's Compass are a lot of fun. There is a nice balance between the sci-fi and mythological elements of the novel in the costumes. I particularly loved her futuristic navigational uniform with its Tron-like light strips and metallic accents. My favorite dress was her green and purple goddess gown that she wears in the flashback scenes as Hela. The colors and nautical accents remind me of a mermaid dress, especially with its matching seaweed crown. There is also a casual outfit and some Norse-inspired winterwear. I really enjoyed the special sci-fi themed outfits that Time Princess has released for various events and would love to see them do a story that focuses entirely on science fiction instead of just going halfway there like this one did.


Overall, I think Hela's Compass struggles to balance out two great ideas into one chapter. If this had been a two-chapter story like Miss Kitty's Antiques, it probably would have been easier to follow and more fleshed out. I loved the sci-fi costumes and the mythological elements and wish there had been time to learn more about them. I hope the game developers use this story as a jumping off point to create similar visual novels that have more detail and character development. That said, this feels like a good sample story for new players who want to learn about what makes Time Princess so much fun without the massive time commitment that some of the longer stories require.

Comments

Sugar said…
Hello! I recently found your blog and I can't stop reading it! I am someone young...I am 25 years old and I have always loved pink, princesses and glitter. I grew up watching magical girl anime like Card Captor Sakura, Yui Corrector, and all that Japanese anime where being the girl in pink is being the leader of the group and being strong. I came here looking for information about Time princess. Like many people with my tastes in recent years I feel disconnected from the new female models of super woman warrior, I hate pink, femininity, etc. I feel like they're pushing out girls like me and ridiculing characters I love, to empower others.
Also about how sweet, wholesome, well-done straight romance with well-written male characters and good role models for kids I feel like it never came...straight relationships like Marinette/Adrien from miraculous Ladybug being that they really just replicate the "girl is cooler" than the guy" and they're not really good examples, I wanted to mention a series of books with a fairy tale theme and two series if you are interested in princess themes...
1) Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (futuristic, clean, strong female characters but not all super female warriors).
2) Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai, is a very short romance anime of 12 episodes about a princess who goes to study at a Japanese school as an exchange student...it's really very calm and I wouldn't say there's much conflict but the female lead really has an old classic princess character It reminded me a bit of Snow White.
3) Lolirock a French magical girl series where each girl is a princess... it doesn't have a third season and it's a bit repetitive at times but it's very sweet, there are songs, friendship and a romantic arc between the protagonist and her best friend. I've seen pretty cure and winx club posts so I think you don't know her.
Finally when it comes to caricatures that don't ridicule femininity or kindness, Sanrio's collections like Rilu rilu fairilu, Jewelpet and Mewkledreamy are adorable, most of them have princesses as characters!
Lisa Dawn said…
Hi Sugar,

Thanks for stopping by! :) I'm guessing you wouldn't like the movie I just reviewed. :-P

Thank you for the recommendations! I have seen Lollirock on Netflix, and I thought it was just okay but nothing special. I particularly disliked the music, which is probably bad for a show about a group of girls who start a band together. I also wasn't able to understand all the hype behind Miraculous Ladybug.

I'll have to check out the anime and the book series. I think I've seen an ad for the Lunar Chronicles before, but the description sounded a little too weird for me. Maybe I'll like it more if I start reading it. Have you seen the Koi wa Sekai Seifuku no Ato de anime that I reviewed here recently? I thought it was so cute! It plays a lot on the "princesses are strong" trope by making a strong evil princess who wants to be nice and stop fighting.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
Lucilla said…
Hi! I'm going through your Time Princess reviews cuz I'm hooked on the game after starting it a few days ago, and it's been hard deciding which stories to unlock and focus on as a newbie. Your reviews and the attached pictures are so helpful in providing me an idea of what the story is about and the outfits therein! :)

This story definitely is on the lower side of the review scale in the game it seems.

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