Review: Time Princess - The Apothecary

This latest visual novel in Time Princess is the biggest drain on resources in the game yet. With four chapters requiring players to boost their companions to level eight, and an average of 60 of each required clothing item for crafting, it seems like the developers have caught on to hoarders like me who have saved up loads of in-game currency over the years. Fortunately, the story, characters, and fashions in The Apothecary make it well worth the effort. While a bit late for Halloween, this story has a pleasant witchy vibe to it with a protagonist who collects mystical ingredients and brews up magic potions in a crucible. The visual novel contains the perfect amount of romance, magic, and suspense in a fully fleshed-out fantasy world.

The leading lady in The Apothecary is Emelia Farrow, a humble apothecary who is desperate to maintain her place in the guild so she doesn't lose her shop. She struggles to stay in the good graces of her trainer, Greta, while facing off against the wicked guild leader, Charon, who has gone mad with power. In order to maintain her reputation, Emelia takes on a commission from a bard named Tate whose singing knocks all of his listeners unconscious. He wishes for people to appreciate his music or at least stay conscious long enough to hear it, a feat that turns out to require a great deal of magic. Meanwhile, a mysterious owl named Oz keeps showing up to warn Emelia about certain actions that might lead to disastrous consequences for both herself and the guild as she questions the intent of a strangely intelligent talking cat she rescued.

As Time Princess has done for a while, The Apothecary features three companions--two love interests and a friend. Of the three, Clement is my favorite by far. In fact, he might be one of my favorite love interests in the entire game. He is a brooding magician donning black and purple robes with the ability to see into the future due to becoming the avatar of a god named Beornric. He hides many secrets, most of which revolve around protecting Emelia. Upon learning his full story, I don't know how it's possible to even consider any other companion's path. Tate comes off as a bit of a sleazebag, hitting on Emelia as soon as he meets her. His story as a bard whose music no one can listen to is a bit tragic, but he never lets that get to him due to his carefree nature. Morgana, the catgirl, is more of a mixed bag. She is very clever and likes to play both sides, making her difficult to trust. However, it is worth playing her path to learn her true identity.

Considering how many visual novels Time Princess has released so far, I was very impressed with the quality of the clothing for this story, not that I think they should cost so many materials to make. There were some super cute witch dresses as well as dramatic fantasy gowns themed around the elements like fire and water. There wasn't a single outfit in The Apothecary that I disliked. Everything ranged from cute to stunning. I think my favorite dress is the Waterbreath Potion, which contains a pale lavender gown with a mermaid-style skirt that flows out like waves and a potion hat with a levitating brim that looks like a stream of water caught in midair. I also really liked the fire dress and the deep blue and black ocean dress. Like the last couple of visual novels, this story requires players to get the handheld items for the main outfits from the Lucky Jerry lottery system, so many of them cannot be completed by playing the story alone.

The Apothecary is a big story that requires a big time commitment and big resources. If you have been playing Time Princess for a while and are equipped to complete this visual novel, it is a worthy endeavor. I would not recommend it to newer players due to the high difficulty level. The worldbuilding and characters are top notch, especially Clement, one of the best love interests I have seen in the game so far. Depending on whose path you take, the story can range from silly to romantic to suspenseful. I liked the range of endings and how they all made sense with the overarching narrative. While it is easy to know whose path you are on, there were a few that I had trouble unlocking due to the randomness of the earlier decisions that must be changed to unlock them, so keep that in mind. Do you think this story was a worthy addition to Time Princess? Let me know in the comments!


Anne said…
Thank you for your wonderful review! I really enjoyed the story. Especially,Clement's path.His ending felt like the true ending of the story.He has became one of my favourite companions as well.As you put it,I aslo had a hard time considering other companion's path after completing his route first.Also I felt that Yuta's route in Miss Kitty's Antiques and Clem's route feel quite similar in a way.
Lisa Dawn said…
Hi Anne,

I'm glad you enjoyed it! I noticed that similarity as well. :)
Anonymous said…
Hi Anne, yes, I think the clothing is really worth having. I enjoy your review, this entice me to start this story. Thank you. :D

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