Video games have come a long way since the early days of arcade games like Mario Bros and Tetris. It has developed into a wonderful medium to explore human complexities and fringe subjects. Games have gained ground as a true art form. Milky Way Prince – The Vampire Star was created by Eyeguys’ Lorenzo Redaelli. It tackles love, relationships, intimacy and borderline personality disorder. Q̵̯͛͝Q̴͕̈́Ȅ̵̥͋P̸̛͕̭̺0̴̮̮̀Ḑ̶̛̻̲̓ö̶͙̩̙́̾)̷̰̌T̴̞̈̽e̷̲̒͘͘r̸̞̬̗̍̀ȩ̶̖̀̈́$̶̢̦̔C̴̹̲̿̐h̴͖̊(̴̬̋̋x̶̙̟́1̷̋͒ͅḻ̷̡̈͌Ṕ̸͔5̶̦̞̓͠r̶͕͋͒͋z̷̖͈̩͆̋͠ṯ̸̝̈́c̸͒̇͜͠ This visual novel explores a story that is deeply personal for the developer, but not necessarily a unique one. It is a timeless story of love, but it is also about the fear that comes with every new relationship. How do you navigate your partner’s issues without losing yourself? Milky Way Prince is an artistic exploration of the kind of love that can take you to new heights just as soon as destroys you.
Nuki is extremely introverted and also very lonely. He is obsessed with space and the stars, he even has a starfish as a pet. His biggest wish is to find true love. One night he meets Sune who seems to have fallen right out of the sky. Could it be that he is the perfect partner for Nuki? Almost as if he was created for Nuki, it is love at first sight. Sune immediately earns the nickname: Milky Way Prince. ¨̷̙̈́͜B̸̳̳̚Q̷͉̍͒͘S̷̖̉͋b̵̟͚̬̒e̸̗̒̇̕&̴̝̖̏W̸͕̝̊̒̾p̸͍̞͍̊͐̅¨̸̨̓G̸̰̐̄7̵̳̝̈͝9̸̘̤̈6̶̹̚X̶̘̪̐f̴͎͍͛Ğ̴͓͈̘̚X̸̺̝͓̓2̸̨̺̌̑̐W̵̛͖c̵̱̊͌̚ṳ̷̩̚Q̵͉̿ĭ̸͙̘̾q̸͖́̑͝ This alliance is far from being perfect despite Nuki’s willingness to see it succeed at all costs. Sune suffers from borderline personality disorder and this relation is fraught with manipulation. Their relationship is passionate but is very healthy for either one of the protagonists.
I loved Milky Way Prince’s artwork, it simple yet impactful. The style works hand in hand with the story to create a lasting impression. Both the graphics and the choices of colors work well together to illustrate the seriousness of the subject. The color scheme is very two-dimensional, the developer has used mostly a black/dark and red palette. If it is possible to represent borderline personality disorder with color, I feel like the choice of two very strong yet opposed colors aptly illustrates Sune’s extreme mood change. 1̸̬̬̇g̷̨̤͖̾̿Ỷ̸̩H̸̪͍̞͒̊̃Ṽ̵̨̠r̵̩͑͆e̶̡̜͋͒Z̶̰͛J̸̧̠̌̀͝0̶͕̃͠”̸̡̅b̸̠̩̌̈́6̶̰͛”̷̢͚̀̿Ć̶̰̯͝$̶̟̱̌o̶̡̺͒L̷̞̰̐͂̅c̶͎̩̾͝͠t̸͈͍͌̌̂͜W̵͕͛͂̚5̴̫̽1̵͚͂̈́g̶͍̃̍5̶̛͎̪͍͆́ The soundtrack though is a hit and miss. It is difficult to guess what the developer wanted to express with it and I am unsure if it was an artistic choice or just an oversight. There is no real music to talk of, no voice-over so we are really only left with special sound effects which are a little odd at times. There is a big episode of complete silence and if they are meant to express some emotional emptiness, it did not come across very well.
Most chapters are very short and every one relates to a specific event. That is an appropriate choice on the part of the developer as it showcases every outburst from Sune. It illustrates the insanity inherent in Nuki’s attempt to conform to an emotionally manipulative partner. H̵͚͍͐͑t̶̯̄̃̓f̵̻͂Q̸̡̦͑r̸̤͙̈!̵̳̘̯̉n̶̥͍̻̈̽̚Y̷̙̕v̴̞͎͆͐͠1̶̲̳͗̍̐1̶͖̍̉ŕ̷̮̾̌o̴̤̗̾ȉ̷̋͜p̸͈͕̜̈Y̴̡̫̤͑̉͑i̷̢̒͝&̶̹̋̈́Y̸͚̤͛̋̋f̷̥͓́̋̕”̴̜̼̂́!̵̢̲̑W̷̭̍̕f̶̳͉̑̑̀ͅ#̸̧͕̺̔͌͝ From one chapter to the next we see Sune going from his best to his worst emotional outbreak. It also gives an appropriate sense of the anxiety one can feel in this kind of situation. Nuki never knows what to expect or how Sune is going to react in any given situation. In that sense the game does a great job at conveying those feelings.
The dialogue is a little hard to understand. Again, I do not know if it is an artistic choice or simply stems from the fact that the developer is still inexperienced. It does not always flow naturally like it should. Milky Way Prince attempts at being artistic in every aspect, including the writing, and that is why it ends up missing the mark. I wanted more raw feelings. It is the kind of game where you should not have to stop and think about the meaning of this or that sentence.
It is a deeply personal emotional story and that is its strength. As a piece of art this game is not bad and it did keep me entertained, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. I believe, however, that the developer has a lot of potential and I will certainly keep an eye on any future games coming from Lorenzo Redaelli.
Written by Vee