Rupert is half of the reason I didn’t play BIR when it first came out. The prologue doesn’t do the game justice, imo. Dominik just came out, but Strawbarely There wanted to play him (tbh I’m not fond of childhood friends in general so that’s cool) and I had a spare account on my tablet I rarely used. Rupert didn’t seem as bad as I thought at first after playing Humphrey (whom I adored) and interacting with him briefly. So, I decided to load up and start playing through Rupert while I played through Raymond on my phone. (Side note — Raymond is great I can’t wait to finish his but it’s taking me longer because I’m trying to griiiind for coiiinnssss)
For brief, Mina is going to turn into a vampire in ten days. She has to get access to the garden and the legendary rose Rosapast to drink the morning dew from her petals and stay human. Rupert needs access to the garden to become the true heir to the hotel, as ordered by Harold, the mysterious vampire that created him and Alfred.
His story is basically “I Want To Know What Love Is” in novel form. This aspect was handled really well. But it lacks that certain… oomph of a great story.
The plot is a straight continuation from the prologue. You need to be in love to open the door and gain access to the garden. The twist with Rupert’s route is that he really, truly, does not give a shit about the hotel. The initial conflict is convincing him that it’s worth it. The second, the bulk of the story, is going into his past and finding out what makes him feel that way. I enjoy character works like this but the downside is you can’t talk about them without revealing everything. So just know, more than plot driving this story, it’s Rupert’s story.
I didn’t like the ending conflict, mostly because I felt like it wasn’t really telegraphed and the motives for the villains weren’t really… anything, really. “We are vampire hunters.” Well, I need more of a reason than that to be satisfied, you know? Especially since the characters involved in the ending are all people we’ve met and they’re likeable. It was almost cartoon-y of a twist.
I got the Tocatta ending. It was sugary sweet and a nice bookend to the days playing through his route. I enjoyed the callback to his greatest desire, and I enjoyed how he respected Mina enough to tell her to wait and consider her decision instead of doing it rashly. I can respect his integrity.
That…about sums him up
I enjoyed Rupert a lot in the beginning. By the end, not so much. It wasn’t that he did things that upset me, it was the opposite. The attraction I felt to him diminished as the story went along. I don’t think it’s a problem of Rupert himself. The game seemed to want to give us a lot of “fanning” moments, so instead of character development we’d get a bit of it, and whoa boy here comes Mr. Kissy-face.
I ground for coins for the premium scenes because as a whole, I did like him enough to want to see the “special” CGs. They’re spicier than what I’ve seen in other cell phone otome, so if you are enjoying Rupert a lot you’ll enjoy reading these spicy scenes. It’s not like, super spicy, more like heavy petting at the most, this isn’t an adult game, after all. It’s not worth paying for them, however, but if you have the time to grind for the coins and you want to read a little spice between the two, you won’t be disappointed. That said, they do feel out of the blue in regards to the rest of the story. It goes from 25–>200 in a split second. The second one in particular, I don’t know how to say it, but it almost felt out of character or out of the moment compared to the previous scenes leading up to it. The CGs themselves though, A++, though not worth what the coins… what are the coins worth again? $5, $7, $9 dollars each CG? Something like that. Absurdly expensive, though that’s how the SWD company feeds its employees, so who am I to complain?
He wants to leave the hotel, that much is a fact beat into our brains. The idea of being bound to the hotel should they succeed for eternity is a torturous thought. He’s a bookworm because he needs to escape his prison. He needs that mental escape to different worlds and places. It’s all rather forlornly poetic. I enjoyed breaking down his walls with Mina and learning what makes him tick. He’s sweetly awkward at times, super forward at times, all in all, just a really nice character. It’s his plot that suffers, and I feel like it only really happens at the very end. For the bulk it’s great.
Mina is good here, but not as great as she could be. While in Humphrey’s story she works as a witch to stay at the hotel and her capability praised, in this story she works as a maid. If she’s a perfectly capable witch why not let her do that? That left me disappointed. That said, she still shines and her integrity is what makes Rupert trust her and open up to her. She has her own voice and she knows what a good relationship is, and isn’t content sitting pretty. She’s a good heroine in a world of horrible heroines, and tbh even if she was half the character she normally is in this (she’s not, I’d say about 75% of what she could be) she would still be in the top 10% of heroines out of all the games I’ve played. I love how she realizes her feelings and she doesn’t dwell on their meaning. It’s so nice to play avatar to a character like that. Then we get more moments with the couple versus long monologues about ~feelings~ and what to do with them.
This… is where everything falters. There wasn’t much for me to screencap. It’s not that there aren’t good moments, but there aren’t good lines. The good moments are entire scenes.
It would not be a gallery of my favorite moments without the ~blushing~ sprite!
Rupert — Great character if you enjoy the reserved types you have to crack to gain trust, but oddly forward at times. I liked him a lot and thought he was sweet.
Mina — She’s okay, not bad at all. Not as great as her potential seen in Raymond or Humphrey but not going to upset you with how stupid she acts.
Relationship — They’re super cute together, but it just lacks this certain spice to make it truly special. That said, it was an enjoyable read and it’s not offensive, just not super exciting.
Premium — Only worth it if you want the pretty pictures or want to read some mildly spicy heavy petting scenes between the couple.
This perfectly falls into the range of three hearts. It’s a solid romance story that will leave you satisfied. Sadly, if romancing a reserved bookworm isn’t your cup of tea, this isn’t going to be the story that convinces you to try it.
My heart scale is defined as follows – 5 hearts = a story everyone will fall in love with, regardless of preferences; 4 hearts = a well-done story that people who love the concept will adore, and people who don’t may end up liking it; 3 hearts = if you like this type of story or this type of hero, then you will enjoy this, but those who do not like either of those things will probably not; 2 hearts = it had potential, it squandered it; 1 heart = just a waste of time from the get-go; 0 hearts = why was this made?