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Let's Play Cinders


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A couple of years ago I did a Let's Play (my first ever) for a visual novel called Scheherazade. It lasted a few months and I had fun doing it, but it petered out before I got even halfway through the game because I found the time commitment to be too much.

When I concluded the thread I said that I intended to try another Let's Play, for a browser-based tactical RPG called Conclave, in a few months' time. I ultimately decided not to follow through with it (for a variety of reasons which I won't go into here). However, I've decided I'd like to take another stab at a Let's Play, with another visual novel called Cinders.

I played Cinders all the way through, to a not entirely satisfactory ending, once before. I've been meaning to play it again, to see what other endings I can find. However, the consequences of your choices are less transparent in Cinders than in many other visual novels I've played, which means that unless I follow a guide, trying to achieve a particular outcome is a matter of trial and error. So I figured I might as well let other people make the decisions for me as do it myself. (There are no "right" or "wrong" choices here.)

Although I like the story and gameplay of Scheherazade better, I think Cinders is better suited for a Let's Play for a couple of reasons:

- It's a much shorter game than Scheherazade, which means it's more likely that I'll be able to see it through to the end (provided there's enough audience participation to make it worth my while).

- Since it's a shorter game, there are fewer choices, but each individual choice has more impact on the outcome. (With Scheherazade, it would have been ridiculously impractical to put every single action up to a vote, so I just had people vote on the high-level decisions -- which plots Scheherazade would pursue -- and then played through the chosen adventures, making all the incidental decisions myself.) That means more frequent voting, with shorter updates between each decision point, so hopefully it won't eat up all my free time or wear my fingers out from typing.

I aim to update about once every two days until the game is completed or people lose interest. That should allow sufficient time for people to vote on choices, and keep me from burning out like I did with Scheherazade. If you've played this game before, feel free to vote and comment, but please avoid mentioning anything that could be considered a spoiler.

Cinders is available on Steam, but I bought the DRM-free version direct from the publisher's website long before the Steam release, and that's what I'm playing (though the publishers were nice enough to give me a Steam key for free when I asked them). I don't know if there are any significant differences between the two versions.


It makes me wonder... If I decided to act earlier, maybe things wouldn't be so broken between us.

Maybe with just a little effort this family wouldn't fall apart like this.

But I suppose it was easier to complain and do nothing rather than try to change things. Isn't it always?

Tonight, it's different! This is the night of change. The night where my plans finally take effect.

I can hear my stepsisters talking in soft voices in the hall. I imagine they, too, won't get any sleep tonight.

During the last few days, I've learned so much more about them. But can it erase all the years they tormented and humiliated me?


Don't worry, the backgrounds will get more interesting real soon.

So, what say ye? Do the stepsisters deserve a second chance? Place yer votes!


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Second chance~. After all, those who get /what they deserve/ are so rarely in a position to help us later. Far better they get a chance to make up for their actions.


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I bought this game a while back, but haven't gotten around to playing it too deeply (as is the case with way too many of my games). Threads like this can be slow to get off the ground, but I always love seeing them.

That said, I'll vote for getting what they deserve. (Threads like this tend to give the protagonist a good-guy attitude -- I don't mind that, but it's interesting to see the opposite every once in a while.)


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Okay, I've gotten a few votes. I can work with that. Hopefully interest will pick up a bit once I post some more actual content.

It occurred to me that I maybe I should have said more about Cinders in my opening post instead of just comparing it to Scheherazade. But honestly, there isn't that much to say. As I'm sure you can tell, it's a take-off of Cinderella. Not a straight-up subversion like Wicked or Maleficent, more like a reconstruction. All of the characters get more fleshed-out personalities than in the original fairytale, there's no overt magic, and you don't have to marry the prince. Beyond that summary, I'd rather let the game speak for itself.

Also, a small correction: the game is also available on GOG, and in fact it was a GOG key (not a Steam key) that I received from the publishers. If that makes a difference to anyone.

Now, on with the show...


Cinders: You can't erase the past. That's for sure. But I know that sometimes we don't choose our fates.

Were circumstances different, my stepsisters could be good people. We could be friends.

Whatever happens, I hope they won't come into harm. They deserve another chance...

Gloria: I still can't believe she did it! I would never have suspected...

[Gloria is the one on the right.]

Sophia: Of course. Because everyone is as dim-witted as you are and never does anything out of the ordinary or unexpected.

Gloria: Oh, yes. I'm sure you were able to foresee what would happen! Did you see it in tea leaves or read it in a children's book one afternoon, while avoiding work and being useless as usual?

Sophia: I did entertain the thought that she might do something like this, if you must know. But believe what you want, I don't care.

Gloria: I also suspected she might try to do something. She was so secretive and compliant at times that an explosion seemed inevitable. I just didn't expect she had it in her!

Sophia: Gloria, please. Sometimes you sound like a cliche villain from a bad romance novel.

Gloria: Of course, if something isn't twisted, weird, or shocking then you won't consider it! Not everyone is like you, Sophia.

Sophia: But you are not Carmosa, remember? You dod not lead, you mindlessly follow. And it shows!

Gloria: Shut up, you--

[Someone pounds on the door.]

Gloria: It's him! Why did he have to come!? And in the middle of the night!

Sophia: Will the wonders never cease. I guess this night of change is not over yet. Just as your ridiculous cliche impersonations aren't done yet, either.

Gloria: There's no time for this now! Though I'm sure Mother will deal with you later. I'll go summon her!

Sophia: You do that.

???: Open up! I won't repeat myself!

Lady Carmosa: Sophia. Don't stand like that! Open the door, let this noisy man in!

Sophia: Yes, Mother.

???: Spare me these false pleasantries! You know why I'm here. Where is she?

Lady Carmosa: Very well. Sophia, get Cinders here right away!

Sophia: Yes, mother.

Lady Carmosa: Be quick about it, child. Captain, would you fancy some wine while we wait for my lazy stepdaughter?

???: Don't push it. You know this is not a courtesy visit. I'm afraid a lot is going to change here tonight.

Cinders: I must admit, I'm afraid of it too. Some independent woman I am.

Sophia: Cinders! Mother has summoned you! Move! You know she doesn't like to wait!

Cinders: Fine, fine! I'm moving. Just give me a moment!

Sophia: Make sure it's quick!

Sophia: ... Cinders, can I... can I ask you something?

Cinders: Yes, Sophia?

Sophia: This whole situation. What happened this evening and the guard bashing at our door and all.



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I've been curious about this visual novel for ages!

My vote is that she should tell the truth! :)


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She wants to give the sisters a second chance, so she might be willing to share the truth with them as a first step. Tell the truth.
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