I don’t actually have a lot of money to be spending on dating sims or any games in general. Right now, I’m largely relying on steep discounts and games that I already bought. My Steam library is chasmous and mysterious. There are a lot of games in there that their origins are a mystery. Was it a Humble Bundle? Did I buy it during some long forgotten sale?
So, I search my library for the tag “dating sim” and get a bunch of results. Pyrite Heart is one such game. It sort of sounds familiar, but at the same time, I have no idea where it came from or what it’s about.
That’s perfect, because for this series, I’m diving into dating sims blind and telling you all the juicy details of my romance, both my triumphs and failures. Just keep in mind, these articles are going to contain massive spoilers for, at the very least, one of the romantic sub-plots. If you still want to read the article but avoid having anything spoiled, read the first heading, see if the game is something you might be interested in trying, and play along. We can then compare notes on which guy is the hunkiest or which girl is the cutest.
LOOK AT ME, I’M A SNOB
This time around, I’m cast as a named protagonist, Ahri. She’s the princess of some undefined kingdom and also a completely unapologetic, stuck-up snob. Her brother grows tired of her always gloating about victory, so he challenges her to spend one week in an ordinary human high school to see if she can survive. She accepts, because she cannot fathom defeat.
It’s not long before she proclaims class president Ryuu as her rival. He’s smart, good looking, probably smells nice, looks like he has a firm grip… What were we talking about?
She also finds out that one of her loyal servants, Kenta, has followed her along on this expedition to make sure she stays out of trouble. He takes to school life immediately, making friends, joining the basketball team, and spreading rumors about me.
Meanwhile, I’ve managed to alienate myself from my classmates by being the snob I always am. I’m guessing it’s up to one of these gentlemen to teach me not to be so insufferable all the time.
PLAYING THE ROLE
It’s sort of unusual for me to be forced into a role, and I don’t think the competitive snob angle is something I really fit with. I’m definitely not competitive, but I don’t think it’s my place to comment on whether or not I’m a snob. That’s more down to how I come across, and I don’t make it a habit of talking to myself.
In any case, this time around I’m simply piloting Ahri through her romance rather than immersing myself into yet another game that sends me back into high school. So, choo-choo, I guess.
Anyway, this time around my aim is firmly on Ryuu. Kenta’s cheerful and nice, but Ryuu is considerate and powerful. They’re not too far apart, but I suppose when it comes down to it, my preference is for a commanding presence over an optimistic one.
The plot winds up zeroing in on our rivalry, immediately setting us up for a cake baking competition on Friday. In the meantime, during a competition in class, we make a bet: if he wins, I dress up as a maid for a day and have to serve him. If he wins, it’s likewise but he dresses as a butler. So, naturally, I throw the game by giving the wrong answer, dooming Ahri to a day in a maid’s outfit.
MAID TO ORDER
Initially, he takes the cruel route by forcing me to call him master and attend school with him in the maid uniform. I thought the rules on uniforms were stricter than that, but whatever. During class, however, he’s more of a gentleman, asking for nothing more than my assistance. As it turns out, it’s because he pities me because all our classmates are making fun of me.
I’m ordered to go get us drinks, but am ambushed by a group of classmates who accuse me of blackmailing Ryuu to get closer to him. I’m not sure of their rationale behind this, but before things can get hostile, Ryuu arrives in shining armor to shoo them away.
He then takes me back to his house to make frozen pizza and study. That sounds like a good time, but I screw it up and ruin the pizza and am left to walk home in humiliation.
IT’S A PIECE OF CAKE TO BAKE A PRETTY CAKE
I’d swear we missed a day of the week, but maybe I zoned out. In any case, the day of the competition rolls around, but rather than try to outdo each other by making a fancier cake, Ryuu, being the gentleman he is, helps with mine instead. We wind up cooperating instead of competing.
We then reaffirm our rivalry. Ahri decides she’s going to stay in school to continue her competition with Ryuu. Ryuu admits to feeling inadequate around Ahri, and they both admit that they’re beginning to fall for one another. I’m just going to step back now and let these lovebirds have their fun.
And that’s all there is to it. If this sounds less substantial compared to my previous “Dating Adzuken” articles, that’s because Pyrite Heart is, like, less than an hour long.
I kind of feel left out. The story didn’t really feel much like I was living out a fantasy where people actually take interest in me, but rather that I was just watching Ahri and Ryuu’s romance develop while occasionally sabotaging things. Ah well, I guess that’s just how these things are sometimes going to turn out. That’s the price of going in blind.
As for my thoughts on the relationship, I don’t really know. I’ve never built one up around a rivalry before, I’ve always looked more for a companion or someone to cooperate with. The only thing I’ve ever competed with my husband at is pinball. I think if I, personally, wound up in that sort of relationship, I’d quickly become discouraged and sink into despair. Maybe, like Ryuu, this hypothetical person would support me with pep talks, but I think as time goes by, I’d feel more and more like I was being dragged along.
Which doesn’t mean such a relationship couldn’t work, it just doesn’t gel with my personal feelings. So, as for Ryuu, I think I’m going to leave him to Ahri. She could use someone to put her in her place. Hopefully she’ll keep that maid’s outfit on hand.
This article is based on a digital PC copy of the game purchased off Steam. The author isn’t quite sure where it came from, but probably paid for it themselves.