Code:Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ Alternative Story: First Christmas – Saint-Germain Review
Intro: An alternative story based on the events that transpired after Finis’ route in the previous game, Future Blessings.
MY HEART DAMNIT. Saint-Germain’s routes never fails to pull my heartstrings.
The route highlighted Saint-Germain’s loneliness, and how difficult it was for him living in the mansion all on his own. He doesn’t just miss Cardia, but he misses his friends, the place isn’t the same without them. It was why he had considered leaving the mansion to travel the world as part of the break Omnibus ordered him to take, but re-considered it because he was afraid of Cardia coming to the mansion to find it empty with no one to welcome her as he had. Instead, he decided to take the initiative, and invite everyone for Christmas, including his colleagues of Idea.
I absolutely loved how he managed to get both Hansel and Guinevere involved with helping decorate for the party, and then when the gang made their (hysterical) chaotic entrance of litterally crashing into the mansion and Saint-Germain burst into tearful laughter, my emotions! I was laughing and crying along with him.
But one of the things I absolutely adored about this route was how we were able to experience Saint-Germain’s love for Cardia in a situation where angst was not involved for once. It made his feelings for her even more wholesome and pure. And damn it, that scene in the beginning when his feelings overtook him to produce daydreams of Cardia standing in front of him, wow, why not just rip my heart out?
What I also found refreshing, was unlike some other routes in this game… Saint-Germain actually had a justified reason to feel hesitant about letting her know about his feelings. For one in this universe, he is still affiliated with Idea, which means even though he’s on break, he doesn’t know when he would be sent off onto a mission that could last decades and be far away. To make matters worse, he also didn’t like the idea of returning home after having completing a mission that involved killing people, which is an understatement to say the least. But most importantly, he was afraid of interfering with Cardia’s happiness, the one where she has embarked on a new life with her brother Finis.
Better yet, despite that initial hesitation, that doesn’t stop Saint-Germain from being upfront about his feelings once he meets Cardia again. Oh goodness, when he went to see her and immediately took her into his arms, I thought my heart was going to burst. At that moment, he could no longer contain his overflowing feelings for her, and I just loved the way his emotions just came pouring right out of him and confessed to her on the spot.
Better yet it made me happy that for once Omnibus was not a bitch (though it can be argued she wasn’t as much as one during Finis’ Route of Future Blessings either, it was kind of a happy end for everyone in that sense), and the “break” she had assigned him one was her way of “setting him free” (or at least, that’s how I would like to interpret it), allowing Saint-Germain and Cardia to be together without worrying about being separated because of his Apostle duties. Also on that note: Thank god it was an issue that was resolved as quickly as it was brought up! I don’t know if I would have had the patience for it if it had been dragged out like they with Impey’s conflict in his Christmas story!
FINAL VERDICT: 4/5
It really should come as no surprise how in despite of the lack of fluffy scenes and romance between Saint-Germain and Cardia, his route still manages to be my favourite out of Lupin’s Gang. Of course my bias for him is certainly playing a big factor in that, but I think it goes to show even though I didn’t exactly get what I had hoped for, and they cheated out on a kiss CG again I was still able to thoroughly enjoy this route. (But seriously: HOW MANY TIMES ARE THEY GOING TO DENY US A KISS CG?!?! FIRST VAN, THEN IMPEY, AND NOW SAINT-GERMAIN! Come onnnnn~ I mean it’s right there, opportunity presented to us, and they choose to skip over it!!!! That’s so mean!)
Although I have complained about a similar issue in both Lupin and Impey’s route, one of the main reasons why I wasn’t bothered too much was because it featured characters I actually care about, and enjoyed seeing Saint-Germain interact with. I loved how Saint-Germain requested for Guinevere and Hansel to help him decorate the mansion, and do ordinary things aside from their gruesome assignments. I also felt they way these characters had a more natural presence in the route, as opposed to being regarded as unwanted guests. And having seen how lonely Saint-Germain was living alone at the mansion, it only made the reunion for Christmas all the more meaningful.
Of course it goes without saying I would have loved it if they had more romantic scenes, (especially since I was hungry for more fluff and kisses CG of my OTP, and not to mention: HOW DARE THEY MAKE THEIR CHRISTMAS DATE OFF-SCREEN!!!!!!), I was still able to enjoy this route, and consider as my top three favourites of the Alternative Story. In the matter of fact, of the original five, Saint-Germain was definitely another one of the three characters (Van and Victor being the other two) who were able to gain a happier story through the setting of Finis’ alternative ending. For once, there was no angst involved of someone trying to interfere with their happiness, and it’s also the version of their love-story where they were able to communicate their feelings more directly with each other than going in a vicious circle of misunderstandings. And as someone who was frustrated with their poor communication in Future Blessings, I really enjoyed experiencing them be honest with each other.
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