Slay the Princess Is the Most Confusing Visual Novel You've Never Played!

If you think princesses are meant to be rescued, you might just be the perfect victim hero for Slay the Princess, a horror visual novel available on Steam. Although it's classified as a horror game, the endlessly branching story arcs make the game whatever you want it to be. It is a psychological thriller based on player perspectives. If you want the princess to be a damsel in distress, she will be. If you start second-guessing her integrity based on the slanderous claims of the narrator, she will turn into something just terrifying enough to validate your fears. At the end of the day, this visual novel is a complicated web of time travel and existential symbolism where nothing is what it seems. No matter how confused you are while playing, it's impossible not to appreciate the ever-expanding number of routes that are available as well as the detailed pencil drawings, multi-faceted voice acting, and haunting score.

Every chapter starts the same way. You're on a path in the woods. At the end of that path is a cabin. In that cabin is a princess. You must slay the princess. If you don't, it will be the end of the world. After several playthroughs, you will get sick of hearing those words. The game puts players on an endless time loop. No matter what choices they make, they will return to the same cabin again and again. However, the cabin is not the same every time, and neither is the princess. Both will shift based on your decisions on whether to rescue her, attack her, or find a middle ground. If you are kind to her, she will become gentle in turn, and if you are cruel, she will become a monster from beyond your worst nightmares. No matter what happens, she never blames you for anything because the decision to kill her is not your own but that of a mysterious narrator who keeps trying to drive you to his own means.

Since nothing in this game is what it seems, you will ultimately discover that the princess is not really a princess, the narrator is not really a narrator, and the hero is not really a hero. Does knowing that change the impact of any of your decisions? Even if she's not a princess, killing her still feels like murder. The time loop must be repeated a certain number of times before a true ending can be unlocked, of which there are also several options. The game presents a multitude of potential of outcomes, which is a dream come true for visual novel fans who love making new decisions and changing the course of the story. With each decision you make, a new voice enters your head driving you a bit closer to insanity each time. Although there are a number of different voices that can be unlocked, the most entertaining is the Voice of the Smitten, who falls head over heels in love with the princess and is absolutely convinced that she can do no wrong, disregarding any evidence to the contrary.

Near the end of a full playthrough, you are given the opportunity to ask why the entity you know as the princess is presented in such a way. The answer it gives is pretty interesting. She is a person in a position of vulnerability who is superior to you, but not so superior that the player would feel uncomfortable interacting with her. Making her a princess also gives pause before trying to harm her because it feels so wrong, allowing players an opportunity to question the narrator and his motivations. The different voices that enter the player's head have different reactions to her as well, and each of her personas is accompanied by a haunting pencil drawing that is both lifelike and unnervingly still. It is only by completing a playthrough involving many loops of the same scenario that we can learn the true purpose of the game and choose an outcome with a elevated sense of perception.

Slay the Princess is a thought-provoking and unsettling visual novel that challenges traditional notions of princesses and heroism. With its innovative time loop mechanic, branching routes, and captivating storytelling, this game is a must-play for fans of psychological thrillers and visual novels. As you navigate the blurred lines between reality and illusion, you'll be forced to confront your own biases and question the true nature of the princess and the world around her. Will you slay the princess, or will you uncover the truth behind the mystery? The choice is yours, but be warned: nothing is what it seems, and the truth may be more terrifying than you ever imagined.


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