Now that tests are out of the way, I can finally look forward to clearing through my backlog of stuff. This particular game is outside of my comfort zone of playing RPG Maker games. Because this is made in Wolf RPG Editor, which is technically different.
LiEat is a a game by Miwashiba, translated by vgperson and published by Playism. The release of LiEat on Steam is actually three games in a launcher, acting as different chapters.
The world of LiEat is a weird modern-fantasy mix where dragons are humanoid with different, specialized powers. In the case of the main protagonist Efina (or Efi), she has the power to eat the manifestations of lies. She is adopted by a swindler named Theo that changes his name and identity wherever he goes, selling information to people. While each chapter has a standalone story, there’s an overarching story about the nature of dragons in the world and what the deal is with Theo.
Efi is a cheerful dragon child that likes to play around and eat lies. She’s not very smart, but she’s several months old in human years, so you can’t blame her. She’s got cute designs and the game thankfully doesn’t get gross about it. I like her, she’s valid. I’m more conflicted on Theo. He’s not exactly a bad guy, but he starts out as pretty emotionally distant and a bit rude to Efi, which isn’t something I like to see in parental figures. Though, I like him more toward the end where a lot of those tendencies are dropped and you know way more about him. He’s ultimately well-meaning and as an expert liar, he’s a good contrast to the lie-eating but often ignorant Efi.
The structure of these chapters has you running around the local area, talking to NPCs and learning about what’s going on. Theo fast talks people until they lie, leading to him and Efi having to beat it down for her to eat. The dragon cops are obligated to show up at one point and I guess they’re okay for cops. Eventually, an NPC gets caught up in so many lies that it leads to an infestation and a climactic battle. The third chapter has divergences from this formula, which is reasonable since the story there only serves to set up the conclusion of the overall plot.
The story doesn’t go heavy into world building, but it says enough to describe the world as it pertains to the characters. There’s enough to know about LiEat‘s world to not leave you scratching your head about plot points, but also enough to leave you wondering about some things and not be overwhelming. For instance, there are a few minor characters in the first chapter that are acquainted with Theo, implying at all sorts of past adventures, but it doesn’t feel the need to exposition dump them. As far as LiEat is concerned, Theo’s adventures with Efi are more important than the ones he spent on his lonesome.
The battle system in LiEat is ehh. Fights are nothing special and they’re pretty easy. It’s clear that the battle system is a vehicle for Efi to show off her lie eating skills and to resolve story conflicts more than being a sincere battle system. That said, it’s accessible to people who are just in it to see the story, which I can understand. Also, I’m gonna be honest, I like the presentation of Wolf RPG Editor’s battle system more than RPG Maker’s.
The art style is some cutesy anime stuff with cute girls and pretty boys that look younger than they actually are. It sounds like an insult, but I think it looks nice. A stylistic choice that I really like about the game is the face sprites. Instead of just merely being sprites, the characters are set against sigils that are different between the games, with slight stylization differences depending on the character you’re talking to. It’s one of those details that’s minor but gives the game its own flair. There are occasional animated cutscenes that are portrayed through an ornate frame and a filter that kinda gives it a storybook presentation that I really dig.
The music is also a strong part of the experience. If I had to make comparisons, I’d say that LiEat‘s soundtrack is sorta like if Professor Layton‘s soundtrack had a more JRPGish vibe. The theme for Vermilion Town from the first game is probably my favorite, though. I also really like the boss battle themes because instead of being energetic stuff, they’re slow, somber music box-like tunes, which reflects the fact that the bosses are typically sympathetic people that just got overtaken by their own lies.
These games have multiple endings, though for the first two, you pretty much have to go out of your way to get the bad endings (such as letting yourself lose in the boss battles). The third chapter however has the bad ending as the default ending. Getting the neutral ending is counter-intuitive, though still reasonable. Getting the best ending however requires grinding to a certain level, which likely won’t occur to people considering that there isn’t really a need to grind – especially since the third chapter has easy to find ultimate weapons that jack your stats up a bunch. If the legendary weapons are a ploy to trick you into not level grinding, it’s a good ploy (but I don’t like it).
Looking at the games overall, LiEat II might be my least favorite. It isn’t exactly filler since this chapter gives a lot more information on the nature of dragons, but the core conflict is between two bastards that drags a kid into their problem and I don’t think their conflict is resolved in a satisfying way. Of course, Theo and Efi are just there to get information and so aren’t obligated to see it entirely through, but ehhhh.
Each episode of LiEat takes about an hour to play through. LiEat costs $2.99 by default and it also throws in the game’s soundtrack, which is pretty cool. Unless you’re one of those goddamn nerds that want hundreds of hours of content for a few bucks, I think LiEat‘s worth checking out.