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One-Sentence Story: Unravel the secrets of an underground fencing organization that requires members to wager their most precious possessions.

Genre: JRPG/Mystery/Information Collection

Playtime: Expect 8-12 hours of story

BACKGROUND

Florentine Blanc strikes gold when she gets accepted into FOIL, a private fencing group advertising a "new breed" of the sport.

The rules? Members must wager the object they care for more than any other: their Prized Possession. Florentine has seven days to prove herself. Each night pits her against one of the quirky characters clamouring to gain control of her trophy.

But what happens when members leave? And why are Prized Possessions such an integral part of FOIL's structure? As her experience in the isolated Chȃteau de l'Hiver proves menacing, Florentine investigates what evolves into a mysterious and ugly truth.

Fleuret Blanc was created from 2011 to 2012 and released for free in July of 2012. It was my first "solo" game, but many people helped contribute, including Michael "Garoad" Kelly, Sabrina Valenzuela, Kan Gao, Sarai White, and plenty of other generous and talented people. If I were to make the game today there would be a lot more polish and much better design here and there, but as a whole, I truly love this game and the story it tells. I hope you enjoy it!

PREMISE AND THEME

Fleuret Blanc is primarily about the importance of objects in our life. Though the storyline follows Florentine as she unravels the mysteries of FOIL and its judges, she's constantly challenged with ideas of possession, collection, and obsession. The game rewards Florentine--who starts as a minimalist traveler--with points based not only on how much she interacts with her fellow members, but also on how much money she makes and how many items she's hoarded in her room. Though collecting is encouraged for a better score, the overall implications of the act can be bittersweet.

SYSTEMS

TIME

Time flows across seven days. Each day is broken up into morning, afternoon, and evening. Within those three sections, the player may explore, bout, gossip, and go through their notes however they like. However, Events take up Free Time. There are only three "segments" of Free Time within each section of the day, so use them wisely. Once three events have been seen, all other events will disappear until the player forces time to progress.

BOUTS

Fencing against other members is mandatory in the evenings (Trophy Bouts), but optional during the rest of the day. Unlike typical "battles," the winner is based on how stylishly they performed, even if their health went down first. Winners either take control of their opponent's Prized Possession, or regain their own.

Florentine gets paid based on her performance as well: the style points she accrues during bouts correlate directly to her income. This means that the player makes money not by winning, but by doing their job as a fencer.

There is no experience or leveling, and each member follows the same exact rules of combat as the player. A move's success is based both on predicting the opponent's attacks (based on current bout conditions) and successfully completing timing or button-pressing indicators that appear on the screen. Each opponent has their own set of special techniques that separates them from the others. With enough money, the player may persuade someone to teach them these techniques.

BEDROOM

Florentine's "home base" is her bedroom where she stores the trophies of other members. She also may find or purchase other nic-nacs to hoard, transforming her simple sleeping quarters into a carnival of colors. Changing techniques and saving in the journal are just a few of the things that can be done here.

CONCLUSIONS

Witnessing events (mandatory or not) may bring up "interesting" ideas that Florentine will take note of in her electronic journal. These Points of Interest all pile toward conclusions that she has yet to make. Filling in the prerequisite for conclusions can lead to bonus events that open up the story and have an effect on the ending.

GOSSIP

Collecting the best information may require gossiping. A select few members are as moral-less as Florentine and will engage in gossip about the last person, place, or thing that the player has come in contact with. (For example, if you click on a plant and then gossip with Roland, he'll give you his two cents about the local shrubbery).

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Ah, I suppose that makes sense. It's still weird to be having a conversation with Odon before he arrives at the Chateau though! :p
Finally found the time to play this! Ended up taking a whole day, you weren't joking when you said 12 hours. More like 14 in my case because I share some unfortunate character traits with Junior; I am Rage because I ended up missing half of the conclusions by one fact each.
(chaining Le Neuvieme's resolution to Masque's was slightly evil, although I have only myself to blame for not tasting the much-advertised double exotic lunch)


Apart from that, you have some gosh-darned beautiful writing and music in there, pal. I think I'll write a proper review, but in a few words: Squeaks for the win. I love games that create a tangle of narratives interspersed with asides, rather than a linear (or even branching) epic, because the former is one of the rare writing paradigms that really benefit from an interactive medium instead of just being "like a book/movie but not as good" (Tristram Shandy nonwithstanding).

My only criticism would be one that I had roughly formulated for Last Word: a lot of things are there just to make the conversation part look more gamey, without really adding "true" gameplay (even in the most basic sense of "some perception of, and mastery over, stakes"), and they can be counterproductive.


Certain aspects do work: the clear hierarchy of optional and mandatory events, the e-Virtuelle as a way of keeping track of what happened before, with a clear indication of newly collected messages/facts.

Others less so: the endless backtracking to change the active topic, the time management on a completely uncertain schedule (I guess that one works better in New Game +, but the game is pretty long as it stands), and the fact that, even if the e-Virtuelle screen looks like a puzzle, this is only aesthetic since there's no way to use it to guess what to do to advance a given topic.
On one hand, you are playing to player expectations in order to make the whole thing more rewarding to the gamey centers in our brains; but on the other hand, you are actually tricking them, giving them a broken metaphor, means of perception that are not in phase with means of action, and that's really bad.

I need to insist on that criticism, because I think if you can correct this tendency in your future games, they will be essentially perfect. Apart from that, the tone, the setting, the characters, the ingenuity in exploring extremely uncommon and ambitious intertwined themes, all of it is just superb and will haunt me for days, and I'm a bit angry at you for diverting my attention from it with superficial game bits. Note that I have the same problem with Reives - both of you are great writers who do not need cheap tricks to capture your audience's imagination (contrary to many JRPG/VN writers, I am sorry to say) - but I'm even angrier at you because I think you are closer to being an actual game writer, whereas Reives is essentially a (fantastic) director. I can see how close your system is to actually working as a game, and I think if you'd stick with your metaphor and create a real gameplay out of information collection, you'd get something completely unique and pretty amazing.

...

Well. that short comment degenerated a bit. Oh, whatevs.

PS: you seem to like stories about stones and words, I gather :P
Totally happy you approve, man. XD Faults aside, the game means a lot to me, so I like it when a person I respect enjoys the thing.


How you view the game is more important than my design philosophies, but since I like discussing design stuff with you I'm going to include this anyhow. But hidden! XD

If we go on a The Author is Alive mentality, I make a lot of the decisions based on personal ideas/taste. I love your criticisms because they make a ton of sense (and I agree with them for the most part in Game Theory), but in the long run they lose to my stubborn ideals. A lot of a story (opinion) is in the adventure. The bouts, for example, are important because you can do them, not because the story tells you you're doing them. In the context of the game's theme, the act of bouting is more important than the balance of the bouts themselves, and taking the bouts out would harm the narrative as much as taking out a bunch of the written scenes. In essence, I think the way you play the seemingly ancillary sections informs your mentality in conjunction with the story, rather than being at odds with it. The Progress Points are created for only that reason--they encourage the player to collect and collect, which informs the theme even though it doesn't add much to the gameplay itself.

It's why I think Catherine is so amazing for having the block puzzles even though people claim to hate them. This could go down a long road, but the existence of the block puzzles inform the mentality of the story in Catherine more than most people would ever get from watching the story on HBO even if they think the two sections are strikingly at odds.


Squeaks for the win!


author=Hasvers
PS: you seem to like stories about stones and words, I gather :P


Nice catch! XD An even trickier Easter egg is that when the professor monologues about the legends of the word, the song that plays is a leitmotif of "Histoire" from Fleuret Blanc.


You and I can get a bit verbose, but the short version is thank you! 14 hours is a long time to spend on a game!
"...the act of bouting is more important than the balance of the bouts themselves, and taking the bouts out would harm the narrative as much as taking out a bunch of the written scenes."



This is how I feel as well. Although the gameplay isn't supposed to be centered around it (than the Ace Attorney-like info collecting), if you were to remove it, then the game would lack a certain je ne sais quoi. (that's as far as my French goes ahaha)


The back-and-forth gossiping was time consuming I admit, though downloading the app did help a lot.


Played The Last Word last week and I've noticed the same sound effects and the stone story as well. :P
Haha I realize my comment was perhaps ambiguous, actually I don't have any problem with the bouts
Perhaps it's because decades of playing RPGs have conditioned me to the idea that anything with a battle system requires more suspension of my disbelief, but here I do think that the bouts are, quite remarkably,
- almost nonintrusive
- internally consistent and not "metaphor breaking"; at any given time the protagonist has as much reason to want to bout as the player. (Moreso than in Last Word for instance)
- useful to the narrative: more plot points arise from the bouting thing than are devoted to trying to justify it, so the slight awkwardness of some of the latter is really no big deal. It's easily accepted as part of the base conceit of the story itself, as it would in any medium (for instance, many gambling mangas have more artificial premises involving people trapped on boats and forced to play mahjong or whatnot)

It's really the POI system and the whole "talk to everyone" mechanics that I feel is deceiving: it is made to look like something gamey but it doesn't allow you to play with it, doesn't give you ways to perform. You can only follow and generally hope to be as thorough as possible. In a slightly obsessive way which arguably fits the theme, but still :P

I have the same problem with Ace Attorney games, which are very often frustrating because the whole gameplay seems to suggest that you are here to make leaps of intuition, but you're only allowed to follow a totally linear path which doesn't even always make a lot of sense. It's like QTEs on a gamewide scale: you're just here to find the one action that the devs want you to do, and do it to progress to the next step; for me that's dirty cheap gameification, but the real problem is that what the interface and premise advertise is constantly at odds with what you're doing in the game.


And gosh, you are a very lucky man to have such an adorable yet creepily wise storytelling dog. I really hope his head doesn't rotate that much though.
author=Hasvers
And gosh, you are a very lucky man to have such an adorable yet creepily wise storytelling dog. I really hope his head doesn't rotate that much though.

That's not my dog! I just found that picture online one time and it reminded me of Squeaker. XD I'd totally cast that chihuahua as Squeaker in a Fleuret Blanc movie. :P


author=Hasvers
It's really the POI system and the whole "talk to everyone" mechanics that I feel is deceiving: it is made to look like something gamey but it doesn't allow you to play with it, doesn't give you ways to perform. You can only follow and generally hope to be as thorough as possible. In a slightly obsessive way which arguably fits the theme, but still :P

I totally get what you mean. It's strange, though, because what you just described is information collection, and that's how I describe this game. This and Last Word both have JRPG mechanics and "mannerisms" in a lot of ways, but because the settings are of the mystery genre, I feel like people are being let down. They expect to play Hercule Poirot when really they're more like Captain Hastings. XD Not a big deal, but an interesting thing to be seeing.

I've learned that if you have a "fantasy" story, you can make the player do whatever you want. But if you have a "mystery" story, the player will expect to play detective in a more prescribed fashion. Mystery JRPGs seem to work against themselves in expectations. I wonder if Professor Layton has the same problems (by looking like Detective games when really it's a series of brain teasers).


author=ivoryjones
Played The Last Word last week and I've noticed the same sound effects and the stone story as well. :P

Haha! Yeah, I was pressed for time and had to use a lot of old SFX. XD
Too bad for Squeaks, I was really hoping that you had a chihuahua with a polka dot tie.

Actually I'm not let down by this and Lost Word more than I would in a less mystery-like setting, it's just that I feel you are very close to doing so much better than CRPGs on that matter, and I would love to see it in any genre.

Mostly my criticism hinges on the fact that information collection proceeds pretty much as in any CRPG (talking to everyone about everything until something new pops up), but is presented as a more elaborate game mechanics, with a specific puzzle-like UI (with geometric shapes for the conclusions, and levels in Last Word, and other game-like trappings).

This really made me wish for a game where that UI would actually be more than a fancy way of representing something usual. Where instead it would be part of the game - for instance, based on the positions of the POIs and the shape of the conclusion, there would be some way of guessing who may have some missing information needed to complete a conclusion, or how to obtain it. Anything that goes beyond brute force.

Even better if it's actually suboptimal to talk to everyone about everything, and if there's some way of guessing what our choices will influence instead of making them blindly, so we now have real stakes and trade-offs going on. Not necessarily trying too hard to turn this into a full-scale investigation game, more like a GM behind the scene rewarding the player for elegance and good roleplay, or intuition, or theme-sensitivity.

I am fine with weird metaphors by the way, as long as they are not excuses. I haven't played Catherine, but if there's really a sense to how puzzles are used to represent the narrative, even a very abstract one, well there's a weird but consistent metaphor relating what you do to what it means. Which is not the case in RPG fetch quests where the devs are obviously trying to give the player something to do, anything, to pad the game in-between two cutscenes. In my eyes, Fleuret Blanc's bouts are valid gameplay insertions, but not To the Moon's jigsaw puzzles, as the latter are not meaningful in any way to the narrative - sorry to the puzzlemaker ;)


And by the way, I don't know if you've seen Caro & Jeunet moves like Delicatessen, but I figure you would enjoy the atmosphere and characters, although it's a touch more grotesque.
Haha! We could have a whole discussion on those dang TtM puzzles! I gots excuses for days! I will assert that the game is better with them than without them until I'm resting peacefully in my grave! :P In any case, I hope past games aren't being held against me too much.

As for the presentation, it almost sounds like some of the ideas you'd rather have be completely flat. There's no accounting for taste, but I think plenty of designers have talked about how it's alright to take a core idea and make it flashier. It adds enjoyment.

Check out this talk Petri and Martin give on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy0aCDmgnxg

There's definitely an issue if you don't have anything substantial to make "juicy," which is why FFXIII and its sequels fall so hard. But, as you can tell by how I do things, I think it's fine to take necessary ideas and "gamify" them a bit for emphasis or direction. Not to say all of the things you're taking issue with are just juice, but in the case of Last Word, you seem to not like the fact that the juice is misleading. But, really, there's nothing wrong with making gossip more fun than just reading to get to the next spot where you read more.

Side Note: There are actually two Conclusions in Fleuret Blanc that you get tons of POIs for all throughout the game, but they are hidden--that is, the game never notifies you. They're "secret" Conclusions that weave the history together and require the same amount of thinking as every other Conclusion. The only difference is that they aren't "gamified," so you have to register the interesting points yourself and draw your own conclusions from the evidence. If I used POI effects like everything else in the game, they would have been solved by now, and quite easily. But since they are independent of the systems, they have almost no weight on the game, like little ghosts in the writing. There's no need to hypothesize what Fleuret Blanc would be like without those systems because examples of it exist within the game already.


And yeah, man, I love Jeunet films. Amelie gets the most applause for some reason, and even though it's not bad in any way, I prefer Micmacs and La Cite des Enfants Perdu.

P.S. You should definitely play Catherine some day and tell me what you think.

EDIT: I keep feeling guilty about responding because I don't like self-justification. But I do like design conversation, which you and I obviously engage in. The conflict is that when you're talking about this game, those two conversations collide, so I want to make justifications but I don't want to make excuses; yet those two are kind of the same thing in a case like this. XD

In any case, you can say whatever you like about how I design things and I'm totally cool with it. I still like the discussions, though, so hopefully I can phrase them to not sound overly protective of the stuff I've made while still being able to talk about preferences in game design.
Haha no problem, on the contrary I would be sad if you'd stopped responding since I also like these design conversations (I am counting on them a lot to inform and transform my own design practices) And believe me, when it comes to defensiveness, your comments do not even register on the typical scale of indie game making, so I wasn't worried :P


To clarify, I don't necessarily mean that these little gamifying things (flashy UIs, QTEs and unrelated puzzles) are worse than having nothing at all - sometimes they can be (e.g. if they divert the focus from the game's vision), sometimes not (e.g. if they provide a pleasant break in the tension).

But I think they're definitely not as good as what you could do with the same basic ideas and almost no additional effort. What I call "superficial" gamification makes sense for people who are primarily film writers trying to shoehorn their script into a videogame - Heavy Rain and so on - as an expedient to make the experience a little more engaging; it's not an optimal use of the medium, but if the story is really cool, I honestly don't care.

On the other hand, I believe that you think much more like a game designer. Your UIs and popups and stuff are suggesting tons of ways of doing just this:

"making gossip more fun than just reading to get to the next spot where you read more"

But concretely, getting to the next spot to read more is still what the player does, despite the UI (because we have no way of knowing what to do to advance on a given conclusion, so we just read everything). Whereas you need very little more to make this UI useful as more than a pretty quest journal. Simply by keeping the exact same ingredients (such as a grid of POIs, with conclusions being tetris-shapes on it) and making them meaningful instead of just aesthetically pleasing - for instance, by turning them into hints on how to advance.

Anyway I think I'm starting to repeat myself so I will stop there. Of course you are entirely free to completely disregard these suggestions :P It's just that I feel you've gone 90% of the way to a stronger, and very unique, game experience about collecting information in a non-linear, non-brute force, clever way... and stopped there, which makes you a terrible tease in my personal universe.


I'm really curious about these secret conclusions now!
And unfortunately I lack a console to play Catherine, but I will wait until emulators are good enough I guess :P)

And thanks for the link to that talk, it was one of the funniest and most useful ones I've seen in a while. Juiciness is definitely one of the main things I have to work on (and I'm glad that they refer in passing to Emily Short, because I think the sort of juiciness found in IF is deeply different from that of their example or a Mario game, yet no less interesting, but far less commonly explored outside of that really niche community).

Edit: I've just stumbled upon this train of thought (an Extra Credits video which makes a non trivial point for once :P but mostly the notgame linked in the description) which makes me think that even while striving toward juiciness, one should at least consider the mechanics as meaningful; not all need to have deeply embedded narrative weight or to contribute a whole new dimension of tactical decisions, but the core ones probably should make an effort in either or both directions.
By the way, a bug: I can't activate conclusion 9 (Le Neuvieme's) on new game+. I can activate conclusion 10 just fine, but after its confrontation conclusion 9 doesn't unlock. I have all the points filled out, but it won't start flashing. The "Conclusion 10" point was already there at the start of the game, could that have something to do with it? It's not a big deal because I did it on my first playthrough (maybe that's the problem), but it's kinda weird.

Also, the picture app doesn't seem to work at all. Clicking on it does nothing.

Oh, and how many stories does Squeaker tell in the attic? Is it possible to get all of them in a single run?
@Argh
I think I had the same problem with Pennington's conclusion. It didn't flash when I had gathered all the POIs but I still managed to 'press' and get the conclusion.

Isn't there like some kind of picture (was it Squeaks' face? haha) on the the app if you move down a bit on the mails section?

And I'm kinda wondering that myself. I only knew Squeaker told stories in the attic waaay too late in the game and got 2 of them. :|

Also, does the last item you burn in the end of the game have some kind of er, special effect? My first playthrough I chose the slipper because I didn't hear Squeaks' stories in the attic, but my next one was the caterpillar charm and now I'm not so sure if it's supposed to be the original item..... .__.
I think there are as many tales as there are final objects. At least each one refers to one of the tales I've read. I believe the caterpillar is the right one as well - and I guess it's one of the secret conclusions.
A bug: Broken Time doesn't seem to work at all. I press the right buttons, but I don't ever get any style points. Weirdly, dodging normally sometimes nets me style points. Was there a mixup somewhere?

I also can't seem to get Le Neuvieme's second bio fact ("Rarely performs magic"). The guide says you get it through luncheon, but I didn't get it. Is it only on a certain day, or random, or what? (Speaking of which, if you have Roland's vegetarian jerky, Florentine will say she doesn't have anything for lunch, at least in Le Neuvieme's conversation.)

And are there only two Squeaker stories? I saw both Thursday afternoon and there haven't been any more.

I picked the glass slipper on my first runthrough as well. I'll have to examine the options again now that I've heard the tales.

Edit: Also, you can enter normal bouts with a black card.
I think I got at least five tales in total, but I don't remember which were in the attic.
Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Pinocchio, the Stone and the Caterpillar.
Beauty and the Beast as in the one where the servants got attached to their objects? Because I think that one and Pinocchio were told after the Trophy Bout...as for the Cinderella, well, on the last day. Ahhhh I may be wrong though and confusing Squeaks' "FOIL" questions and his twisted tales v__v But I clearly remember the Caterpillar and The Stone from the attic.
First off, it's a centipede! XD

author=argh
A bug: Broken Time doesn't seem to work at all. I press the right buttons, but I don't ever get any style points.


So you're telling me that Broken Time is... broken? Dammit! XD Let's pretend for a moment that it's some highly symbolic social commentary, at least until I make the patch. :P

Thanks for all of these bugs, too. I'm not as worried about the New Game + bugs as much as I should be, but some of these others should probably be fixed up. Where were you when I needed you two years ago!? XD

author=ivoryjones
@Argh
And I'm kinda wondering that myself. I only knew Squeaker told stories in the attic waaay too late in the game and got 2 of them. :|


Hasvers is right; there are only five stories, three of which you hear in the main plot and two of which are tucked away in the attic. Squeaker has a preference for high-altitude story-weaving, I guess. You can easily see all of his tales in a single playthrough. And, although it's not easy to happen upon (Hasvers' dilemma in action, I suppose), there's a way to see everything in a single playthrough.

author=argh
I also can't seem to get Le Neuvieme's second bio fact ("Rarely performs magic"). The guide says you get it through luncheon, but I didn't get it. Is it only on a certain day, or random, or what?


According to my data, you can get it during the Wednesday Member Luncheon. You have to ask Le Neuvieme about himself when you're investigating with Roland. He should tell you about his family ties to magic, and when Flore asks him to perform some for her, he gets reluctant. Then he takes off his hat and we can see him for who he really is: Ben Kingsley! He truly is in everything!

(Actually, in my headcanon, Le Neuvieme looks a lot like Kiros Seagill from FFVIII. Not that that matters. You can imagine him as Ben Kingsley if you like. :P)

As far as that last question is concerned, your guess is as good as mine. All of the objects pre-date the creator of the term used to describe them. It could be any of those five, or something else entirely. It could be that the first "fleuret blanc" was actually a white fencing blade of some sort. Or maybe it was Grams' cookbook all along, and that she's actually the immortal Ben Kingsley in disguise!

Look, if he can pretend to be the Mandarin, he could be anybody!
New ad:

"Fleuret Blanc - the game where every role is played by Ben Kingsley"

Unfortunately, they tried that once with Eddie Murphy and it wasn't such a good plan.
How did you come up with the concept by the way (Fleuret Blanc, I mean, not Ben Kingsley)? You should make a kind of commentary or blog post, that would be interesting - unless you already have something like it on the Freebird boards.
Where were you when I needed you two years ago!? XD
Not on the Freebird forums, apparently! If you'd like me to beta test a future work I'd be happy to, though, assuming I have the time. (Although I think the jerky thing may have been an error on my part, as I believe I had Flore eat it separately before doing the event.)

According to my data, you can get it during the Wednesday Member Luncheon.
Huh, I could've sworn I did that already. Maybe it didn't transfer to NG+ properly? Some other points (like "enjoys cooking") were absent on my NG+ run as well and I had to rediscover them.

And are the stone and centipede stories based on fables like the other three (for some reason I thought of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the second one), or are they wholly your own creations?

I'm also curious about the two secret conclusions now. I've looked over all the POIs but they all seem to relate to stuff revealed in the main plot - the judges and so forth.

I assumed one was that Pennington was the hitman, but that's pretty explicitly spelled out in the Lounge if you do his conclusion so now I have no idea. Something about Ana? Was there something shady about that bus accident? I don't believe the junk in the attic was ever fully explained, either - if the judges only care about the prized possessions, why would they capture the victims' other possessions as well?
author=Hasvers
Unfortunately, they tried that once with Eddie Murphy...

More than once, unfortunately... *Shivers*

author=Hasvers
How did you come up with the concept by the way (Fleuret Blanc, I mean, not Ben Kingsley)? You should make a kind of commentary or blog post, that would be interesting...

I never thought of doing so. There's a lot of thought that went into it, but two things really drove the creation: I wanted to make a full game within a year, and, like the Ghandi quote says, I wanted to make a game I would have liked to see in this world. Really, I'm this game's biggest fan. XD Don't let me nerd out on it too hard.

author=argh
Maybe it didn't transfer to NG+ properly? Some other points (like "enjoys cooking") were absent on my NG+ run as well and I had to rediscover them.


Maybe! I'll write that down too and be sure to look into it.

And are the stone and centipede stories based on fables like the other three (for some reason I thought of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the second one), or are they wholly your own creations?

I never made the connection to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but that would have been kind of clever if I did that on purpose! Damn, I missed my shot! XD

I made those two hidden stories, which is why they're the two I chose to hide. In the "universe" of Fleuret Blanc, those tales are real tales, but the player can't relate to that. Instead, the warping of popular fictions is what gets the spotlight. There's a touch of hidden relevance to all of it that's hard to explain, but to keep in line with the question, yeah, I made them up.

The centipede thing is the back history for a novella I intended to write, and the stone later gets used as the backstory to Last Word.

I'm also curious about the two secret conclusions now. I've looked over all the POIs but they all seem to relate to stuff revealed in the main plot - the judges and so forth.

I was a bit misleading. When I said there are POIs, I meant that there are literally points that you would take interest in written into the game. But you never see them. There are no journal entries or sticky notes, yet they exist.

For example:



If I had added a POI effect to that top panel, you might start connecting dots in your head. As it stands right now, you're still given that small, interesting point, but the game never explicitly tells you to pay attention. The two hidden conclusions are made using these similarly hidden points of interest. Figuring them out requires the player to do a bunch of thinking on their own, but they're completely optional and, more than likely, highly speculative if you can't think of which bits of information connect.

In any case, these revelations have no effect on the game itself, so don't worry too much about it. XD
...Roland's urn? I forgot about that one amidst all the other mysteries, but it is a loose end. We never do learn what's in it or why it's so important to him. Wild theory time:

His mother is Odon's sister, making him the true heir to the property. The urn is her canopic jar, and her last wish was to return to the chateau, which is why he says his duty is fulfilled when he leaves it behind in the ending. Maybe her name was even Tia??? This is probably also where he gets his family values from; Odon's sister lost her family at a young age, so she considers it especially important now that she realizes how fragile it is. Absence makes the heart grow fonder?


He also said that the Beland family is good at anagrams, which makes me think that his name is one, but I suck at anagrams so that's a dead end for me.

The centipede thing is the back history for a novella I intended to write, and the stone later gets used as the backstory to Last Word.
I would very much like to read that novella. And does this mean that Last Word is set in the same universe as Fleuret Blanc, or is Last Word simply set in a universe where that tale is literally true? (I suppose this also confirms that you can order people to die if you win in discourse, which is creepy and something I was thinking about the entire time in that game!)