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For more information, visit Twelve Tiles.

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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  • Completed
  • Merlandese
  • RPG Maker XP
  • Visual Novel RPG
  • 07/26/2014 06:25 AM
  • 05/13/2020 07:21 PM
  • 06/17/2012
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Posts

Ahahaha wow whoops that's embarrassing even got Hasvers to say 'caterpillar' xD

@Argh
Hmm wasn't Tia the name of his dead dog though? If you ask Le Neuviene about it he'd tell you that.


Last question: Are you gonna make something like this in the future? This site needs more info-collecting game =D
argh>
Great point! Actually I do remember noticing that Normandy was mentioned both as part of Roland's backstory and at some other point, now I guess it was Odon saying that his sister went there. Plus, Beland is very close phonetically to Blanc.


ivoryjones> I blame you :P

Merlandese> Actually it would be cool to have some insight into your ideas, if you want to make a kind of origin story blog post. And no need to be bashful about being your game's greatest fan, any creator is either this or its greatest hater! (often both)
Hmm wasn't Tia the name of his dead dog though?

Yes, but perhaps he named the dog after the other thing. As much as I'm sure he loves his dog, it is a little weird that he'd use the name for something as important as his safe. It'd also make the claim that the urn is a canopic jar for something named Tia a half-truth, which is kind of funny in hindsight.

And now that I'm on the topic of safe codes, I wonder what's up with Masque's...
Hey, I used to have my security code as the name of my dead dog as well (yes I'm serious)! :P I'm not really sure where the name Tia originated from, and I only know 2 things is that someone's called "Tia Dalma" in the Pirates of the Caribbean (LOL) and "tia" means "aunt" in Spanish. Is Tia even a common French girl's name?
author=ivoryjones
Ahahaha wow whoops that's embarrassing even got Hasvers to say 'caterpillar' xD

Not a big deal. I'm a fan of caterpillars. XD

author=ivoryjones
Last question: Are you gonna make something like this in the future? This site needs more info-collecting game =D

It's likely.

author=argh
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.

Like any good darling, I murdered it after about 25,000 words. XD But I do have some written material on my main site, Twelve Tiles. I think you might enjoy "The Veterans" if anything.

author=argh
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?

Yeah, they're the same universe, you could say. Neither game has a reason to approach the connections. But the odd rules of Last Word are a byproduct of St. Lauden as a place, not as a "universe." The attitudes everyone have are byproducts of St. Lauden's isolation (a large island set in the English Channel) and its strict military government (which keep them fairly ignorant to other cultures).

In that game, they discuss The Mouth as a machine you might use on enemy forces, but the military knows well enough that the effects of that sort of weapon will only really work on its own people. As you leave St. Lauden, your adherence to what you might call "Last Word Rules" fade out quite a bit.

I played and finished your game a few days ago, but now im replaying it game with the new game plus but I'm already having trouble with the Florentine's bedroom keypad safe LOL because previous, I had to make a guess on what were the clues but if anyone could help or teach me on how to the read the clues, it would definitely be appreciated though.

I LOVE THE GAME BTW. Love the story and now im trying to solve all the clues and puzzles, learning about some of the other members which I didn't get to do! I WILL COME BACK FOR MORE HELP AND TIPS XD

Thanks
Thank you! Glad you're enjoying it!

You can stumble your way through any safe if you like, but the clues for the bedroom safe work like this:

/ R4 / = move right four spaces

Each clue gives you a row of three of those. For example:

/ R4 / / R1 / / L4 /

But then you also have this type of clue:

/ 20 / / C / / Q /

When you collect all three rows, they might look like this:

/ R4 / / R1 / / L4 /

/ 20 / / C / / Q /

/ D2 / / U5 / / D2 /


Each column is an input for the code. If you start at the letter/number given (like "20" or "C"), then move the directions of the other clues in the column, you get the input needed. The leftmost column is the first input, the middle is the second, and the third column is the third input. :)

It's a little complicated, but it's also like that because the code isn't the same for every player.
author=Merlandese
Thank you! Glad you're enjoying it!

You can stumble your way through any safe if you like, but the clues for the bedroom safe work like this:

/ R4 / = move right four spaces

Each clue gives you a row of three of those. For example:

/ R4 / / R1 / / L4 /

But then you also have this type of clue:

/ 20 / / C / / Q /

When you collect all three rows, they might look like this:

/ R4 / / R1 / / L4 /

/ 20 / / C / / Q /

/ D2 / / U5 / / D2 /


Each column is an input for the code. If you start at the letter/number given (like "20" or "C"), then move the directions of the other clues in the column, you get the input needed. The leftmost column is the first input, the middle is the second, and the third column is the third input. :)

It's a little complicated, but it's also like that because the code isn't the same for every player.


Finally got it. Thank you so much for helping me xD Now I finally understand on how to do it. Getting addicted replaying it again!
By the way, Merlandesse, would you be okay with me making a TV Tropes page for this game? It'd be more publicity (and a potential repository for fan-theories), but I know lots of people dislike TV Tropes, so.
I don't have any real opinion on TV Tropes either way, so go ahead! Thanks ahead of time, and thanks for running it by me. :)
By the way, something that's been scratching at the back of my mind:

So Aunty outright lies about FOIL's goal in her confrontation. Not even in a "from a certain point of view" sense, but a bald-faced lie; the drama of the bouts is irrelevant and only a means to an end. I feel like this is in bad faith and goes against the rules of mystery fair play. Placing it at the thrilling conclusion of one of the mysteries makes it look like it's legit and gives the player no reason to doubt it, when in actuality it has no bearing on the real plot. I'm kind of curious about your thought process on creating it. Was it an artifact of an earlier script, or something?
I'm not very succinct today, so bear with my, like, way-too-clunky explanation. XD


---
FLORE:

I have a feeling that you judges are the real
members. Me and Roland and the others are
just components.

AUNTY:

Components? In what way?
---

Flore confronts Aunty about the truth of FOIL and almost accidentally guesses it correctly. Aunty then has to question Flore about what she thinks is the truth in order to figure out whether she needs to do damage control.

So Aunty asks Flore if she understands what FOIL is really about. Flore gives her own opinion (one of two similar ones, based on the way she describes herself at the outset of the game), and Aunty pretends that Flore has it all figured out. She's covering her trail, yes.

---
AUNTY:

Go ahead and take a guess. Think hard and give me your most honest response.

FLORE:

Hmmm...

(She then tells Aunty something that isn't the actual purpose of FOIL.)

AUNTY:

That's all? Honestly?
...
...
Well, I must say you're absolutely correct.
You have us pegged! OH-hoho!

(She reaffirms whatever Flore just said.)

It's all quite invigorating for us, but that's
the whole of it. Nothing less, nothing more.
---

After that, Flore mentions something about "less is more," which Aunty calls nonsense, then hurries off. Aunty's satisfied that Flore isn't going to be a wrench in the gears, and Flore, though momentarily satisfied that she confronted Aunty, has that niggling thought in her head about what she actually just said.


author=argh
... when in actuality it has no bearing on the real plot. I'm kind of curious about your thought process on creating it.


Plot-wise, it tells the player everything in the first half of the conversation. Namely, that FOIL is about the judges and that the "members" are objectified--literally. One line of metaphors liken them to yachts, calling the judges members of a yacht club. That, in itself, is the exact answer (metaphorically) to the mystery of FOIL, and plants that thematic seed in the player's (and Flore's) head. Some mysteries place murder on the table and have the antagonists play dumb, but this mystery plants humans-as-possessions on the table and does the same. This may not be objective evidence for a crime, but it's arguably more useful to the plot than Nickel's information (which is more heavily world-building).

As far as the minor themes, it shows how Aunty is sort of the weak link of the judges. She's at the verge of spilling the beans to people she likes basically all week.

Secondly, when Flore doesn't guess the actual situation, Aunty (obviously, in my opinion) quickly agrees with Flore to cover up the truth. Keeping the truth hidden is what they've been doing the entire time, so no surprise. In defense of the action, Aunty never initiates this lie. Rather, she asks Flore what she thinks is the truth (after all, Flore must know SOMETHING to have confronted her like this), and when she discovers that Flore doesn't know anything she rolls with it.

Hopefully that's a satisfactory answer about my thought process. XD
Huh.

I guess I'm just not as perceptive as most mystery readers, because I took that conversation completely at face value. I never thought there was any reason to believe Aunty was covering her tracks or trying to throw Florentine off the scent; the game was explicitly labeling this as A Big Deal and the finale of a subplot. I thought that was really it; if anything, it killed the seed of doubt in my mind because I thought I found the real answer and that was that. Once again, it just didn't feel like fair play; you never see the same degree of misdirection in any of the other confrontations, so a player has no reason to suspect this one.

I mean, looking back on it I can definitely see where you're coming from -- Aunty asking leading questions, then the long pause to show that she's making up some bullcrap on the fly. But that's actually really ambiguous, and without knowledge of the full picture you could interpret it a number of ways. I interpreted both the leading questions and the "..." as posturing, acting theatrically over-the-top and making a game out of it because that matches Aunty's personality, but still giving Florentine the truth in the end. Maybe I'm just too trusting, but well, up until Roland says they murdered people we really have no reason to believe they're lying, black-hearted monsters and not just normal eccentrics.

It reminds me of something I brought up in this review of Ever17: As a mystery writer, it's very easy to view things differently than a first-time reader because you know how everything has to end up, and that's going to color your interpretation of events.

It could just be the game mechanics clashing in an unfortunate way. If it was part of the plot and not a sidequest I think I'd have been more skeptical as well.
Damn! XD

Well, if that's how it comes off, then that's how it comes off. Not my best work on that scene.

But even if the final note of the scene--that misdirection--doesn't work in the plot's favor, I still think that the initial conclusion Flore reaches (and confronts Aunty about) is a valid foundation for the remainder of the story. Recognizing that the organization supports them and not her is something she could likely figure out, but, like other confrontation events, informs the plot more than progresses it. Which I like in itself. I guess the misdirection issue is an unfortunate side-effect of how Flore could confront the judges about that revelation without becoming a threat to FOIL's plans yet. If she reached that full conclusion with a member, it wouldn't feel validated by coming from a judge's mouth. But talking to a judge about it necessitates them lying.

Ah, that's just another mistake for the collection. XD
I for one found that attempt at deception extremely conspicuous, so I guess YMMV. I mean, asking "that's all?" very much implies that there's more to it (especially with her sudden change of tone, going from completely ridiculous to quite serious)

I hadn't appreciated how close that first conclusion came to the main thing, though. Perhaps because so many other things happen in-between. But I really like the idea of revealing so much early on while gently prodding the player toward a misleading interpretation, it's one of my favourite forms of foreshadowing (significantly more so than the typical nipponese tactics of having floating heads in coloured TV screens talk in many ellipses about events and people you will only encounter 25 hours later).
author=Hasvers
stuff


Ah, maybe it's just my inexperience with these types of stories then. Dragon Quill has a mystery expert poised to review the game at some point, so I guess I'll get a more definitive word on it then.
I read the Ever17 review, as well as your comment (I think that was yours) linking to the fair play stuff. I love mysteries, as well as those authors, and was surprised to have never heard of those rules before.

I think they're fair, and good rules for murder mystery tales. Maybe a bit too prescriptive. I know Christie's broken a few of those rules several times, but Fleuret Blanc definitely broke basically all of them! XD

Like, one says not to have more than one secret room or passageway; Fleuret Blanc has three. I even use them in Last Word and Social Caterpillar!

I'm not familiar with Dragon Quill. What exactly is it, and what's your affiliation? That review of Ever17 was a good one. Informative and fun to read.
Dragon Quill is a caustic and exhaustive review blog with a social justice focus (particularly feminism). It started off reviewing newly-released YA novels (starting with The Hunger Games), but has since branched out a bit into literary video games and movies, albeit still with a literature focus. I would recommend it if you're interested in lit crit, though the main writer is quite irreverent. I write video game reviews (mostly visual novels) for it occasionally.

(The person who talked about fair play rules, "actonthat", isn't me -- they're another contributor, and the mystery expert poised to review Fleuret Blanc at some point. They're also the one who posted those short reviews of Last Word and Exuent Omnes.)

I think they're fair, and good rules for murder mystery tales. Maybe a bit too prescriptive. I know Christie's broken a few of those rules several times, but Fleuret Blanc definitely broke basically all of them! XD

Like, one says not to have more than one secret room or passageway; Fleuret Blanc has three. I even use them in Last Word and Social Caterpillar!
This came up in another review (Bravely Default, I think), but the basic rule of thumb is that the stated rules are specifically for detective novels, and games are allowed to stretch them a bit. And as with all things, everything lies in the execution. In Fleuret Blanc, for instance, there is only one secret passage directly linked to the main plot (I believe?), while the others are fun side puzzles because that's what video games do. And the "no supernatural elements" point is because readers are supposed to be able to figure the mystery out on their own based on the rules of the world they understand, and saying "oh by the way the laws of reality are different" halfway through prevents them from doing that. (This is why Ever17 and the Zero Escape games are such terrible mysteries.) However, you establish the supernatural elements quickly and clearly in Last Word, and the ultimate mystery doesn't rely on them anyway. And so on.

That review of Ever17 was a good one. Informative and fun to read.
Ahah, you think so? Thanks. I usually think my reviews are terrible and dull, especially compared to Farla's and Act's.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
I just finished my first evening bout with Roland, and I'm really impressed!

I really like the aesthetics you've got going on here. The character designs are unique and interesting. And the art style gives off a serious creep-vibe, especially the judges. *Shiver*

This may sound a bit odd, but I feel like this game was designed with multiple playthoughs in mind. The fact that there are timed button pressed for a bunch of seemingly pointless things (like tidying up my room, or my Prized Possession).

The bouts are intense! I never had to worry about style before in a turn based fighting system, so this was definitely a unique experience. NOT wanting to finish off my opponent to boost my style is something I've never had to do before.

I am a bit curious as to the point of the segments where Florentine figures out some puzzles logically, though (like when Judge Nickel asks her about her history that she submitted because the info got scrambled). Is there any consequence for failing those? It didn't feel like there was.

Speaking of Florentine, she is am interesting character. I feel like she is just as much of a mystery as the other characters in FOIL. I look forward to seeing her development throughout the game!

All in all, I'm gonna keep going with this game later. Great job!
Cool, thanks! I think you'll like where everything goes. :) Hopefully most of your questions about it will be answered as the game progresses.

The button presses for menial tasks is actually just a shoe-horned tutorial. You can use all of those things in bouts at some point, and I'd rather you figure them out in a situation that has no consequences, rather than an important Trophy Bout or something. Since the scenes typically don't progress until you've done the timing thing, you've "learned" how to do it before it pops up from some special skill or something.