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Sacred Reviews: A Maiden's Ballad


"A Maiden's Ballad" was developed by Starmage using RPG Maker MV for the Theme Roulette event. This event was held back in July of 2018 and was built upon the premise of developers being given random themes to build a game around. "A Maiden's Ballad" was built around the theme of passion. A theme ripe for everything from romance to revenge.

Though it appears Starmage decided to focus on people being passionate for achieving their dreams of fame and fortune. A decision that comes across as a bit strange in the grand scheme of things. After all, it would probably be a lot easier to express the theme of passion in a steamy romance or a revenge plot than around gaining material wealth and fame. Though, I suppose this interpretation does allow for a lot more creative freedom. Sadly, this game doesn't take advantage of that creative freedom. Instead it decides to stick to the conventions found in numerous other turn-based RPGs. As such, it's hard to get really passionate about this game. After all, it really doesn't stand out from the crowd.

You and group of friends are on their way to another town to kick start Cecilia's music career. Along the way you'll need to deal with hordes of monsters, jealous lovers, and learning how you feel about the boy next door.

While the game does traverse some rather well-worn ground when it comes to character arcs and plot devices. These character arcs and plot devices are used competently enough to work.

Because the story is so by the numbers, it lacks the ability to surprise the player with a plot twist.


Combat in this game is very similar to several of Starmage's other projects in that it features a conditional turn-based battle system where the characters speed determines turn order. As a result, you'll usually end up relying more on Yolanda and Cecilia to deal major damage after a while. This is because both of these characters get MP based group attacks at level 25 while Nathan is entirely reliant on gathering TP in order to do the same. And because Nathan is slower than molasses in the dead of winter; he'll be hard pressed to gain enough energy to use his group attack/most powerful skills.

Thankfully Nathan is rather useful in the early to Mid game. This is because Cecilia lacks any sort of offensive magic until level 25 and Yolanda's earliest group attack costs more TP to use than Nathan's. As a result, you'll come to rely on his cleave to get you out of tight spots as well as end battles quickly and efficiently.

On a more depressing note, while the game does feature touch encounters. You'll be hard pressed to avoid enemies in the narrow hallways that comprise this game. About the only bright side to this aspect of the game is that it seems Starmage designed the game around the player killing every enemy in sight. At least you'll need to do this in order to reach the minimum expected level for the various bosses you'll run into.


On the graphical side of things "A Maiden's Ballad" contains all of the positive and negatives I've come to expect from Starmage at this point. On one hand, you have areas that are jammed pack with eye candy and are a pleasure to behold even if they are a little jam packed with sparkling water and impassable flowers.

On the other hand, your left with character sprites that really stand out against their portraits in the menu and status screen.

In fact, this is so common for Starmage to do I almost consider it a stylistic choice at this point. It's just never a stylistic choice that I or others generally approve of.

I thought the character portraits, however, didn't match well with the rest of the graphics pack. It looks really strange.


"A Maiden's Ballad" is a game based around the theme of passion. Sadly, this theme didn't ignite Starmage's inner passions to do something truly creative. After all, this game has all of the hallmarks of his usual work. As such, it's hard for anyone that's played his other games to get truly pumped up about this one. At the same time, it isn't a bad experience if you've enjoyed his other games like "Once Upon the Woods".


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Wow! Thank you so much for this review, thesacredlobo <3 ^_^ You have indeed made some great and important points as always! :D Yeah, I do wish I could've done better to implement the theme of passion in this game, admittedly >.< But yeah, I'm happy you took the time to LP the game and review it with much precision! :D ^_^ Thanks again!!
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