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A Maiden's Journey

Hello people!
A Maiden's Ballad is a short 2018 RPG made by Starmage with RPG Maker MV as entry to RMN's Theme Roulette. The random theme that was drawn for this game was the word "Passion". But what's the plot of the game? Well, not your usual fantasy rpg story...

Cecilia is a young aspiring harpist that has to start a journey to reach the capital city of Rainsville. This is because there is an organization, the Harmonica, that helps musicians publish their music and become famous all around the world. Anyway the world is dangerous and the journey won't be a short one, so Cecilia is assisted by two friends, Nathan the Axeman and Yolanda the Pythoness (!). During her adventure Cecilia will visit several different place, face some challenges and encounter friends and foes (yes, monsters aren't the only problems that an aspiring musician will face!).

Time to slide! Oh yes, the game includes a classic sliding puzzle! My favourites!

A Maiden's Ballad took me little more than 3 hours to complete (3 hours and 13 minutes, to be precise!) and it's a classic linear adventure: no open world, just a dungeon after the other, I mean ok, some dungeons are a forest or the tundra, but this game is based on a trip, so it's a on the road adventure! What did you expect with that plot?
I liked that the game includes few simple puzzles like a sliding on ice part, nothing much still a nice addition, and I also liked the use of touch encounters rather than the classic random battles. On the other hand some passages are really narrow and you'll be forced to fight. Not a real problem since there are obligatory bosses, and you need to reach a certain level to be able to dispatch them (not that you need to grind)!

Ok, battles are not a problem even if the party members aren't really balanced: for example Cecilia starts as a weakling but she will become really powerful at endgame (she earns some good attacks only later, at high level) and the same is more or less for Yolanda (whose area attack costs a lot to be used frequently). But the boy, Nathan, will be really useful until midgame since he's pretty strong and very slow.

Fighting evil trees with an axe? Well that's really appropriate!

Visually the game is really nice because it used that charming Time Fantary Rpg pack, that has that nice retro feel. I like it because it's not used very often, but I also like the style of the menus, the font, and the use of various effects: battles are rather dynamic due to the moving camera, there are many effects like falling leaves and the snow. I also liked mapping for the most part, especially the first maps, others are just ok, I mean it's just the scenario where many battle encounters will happen, and in this it's not more different from many other rpgmaker jrpg games. I'd have liked a little less exploring, less battles and much more cutscenes and events, to make Cecilia's adventure more memorable and let the various characters shine more (ok, on the other hand I know this was an event game, so I could not expect a lot, but it's true that the theme of "passion" could have been emphatized more in this way). I also found a little odd the use of portraits (just for the four playable characters... well, four? YES! Because there will be a last party member available for the last part of the game, and a really odd one!) of a totally different style, that recalls some old renaisscance paintings.
But uhm it's ok! Interesting choice indeed...

Who's this guy? Who cares, he has guns and bombs and he's willing to help us! That's enough for me!

Final Verdict
A Maiden's Ballad is an ok game, especially if we consider that it was made for an event, I probably wished there was more emphasis on music and other aspects that seems to suggest a different kind of adventure but in the end... it's a classic jrpg game with some minor issues I mentioned before. Overall it's pretty entertaining if you're looking for a short adventure jrpg but I'm pretty sure you won't play it more than once. Still not bad, it's enjoyable!


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Hi TheRPGmakeraddict and thanks so much for the fun and detailed review! <3 ^^ I'm glad you enjoyed the game despite its shortcomings, and I do indeed wish I was able to emphasize more the "music" and character development parts of the game! <3
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