Another episode in, another part done! I'm liking this game more and more and I have so much fun doing all the voices!
The Blind Griffin
A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux
The Blind Griffin is an otome game developed by Asphodel Quartet for NaNoRenO 2015. Our team is made up of artists Auro-Cyanide and Rins, writer/programmer Lorelei, and composer/musician Noyemi K. The game features three different character routes (Giovanni, Alexei, and Emilio) and has 10 different endings. The game is free with a pay-what-you-want system in place for people who'd like to leave a tip.
Trigger/content warnings for mentions and/or depictions of: death, execution, suicide, drug use/abuse, alcohol. We recommend that players be at least 13 years of age to play this game.
S T O R Y
It's the roaring 20's. Alcohol-loving Americans are chafing underneath the restrictions of Prohibition, but speakeasies have thankfully risen to fill the void with ill-begotten booze. The Blind Griffin is one such speakeasy in San Francisco, California, but it's about to go out of business...because its employees are a den of magicians who are more concerned with their magical studies and experiments than moonshine! Desperate not to lose the building that has become their haven, they hire the first streetsmart guttersnipe they find with some experience to help turn things around, but could she perhaps turn out to be the strongest magician of them all?
C H A R A C T E R S
GIOVANNI (GIO) // The speakeasy's premier violinist. He moonlights as a saxophone player but he's awful at it (nobody tells him). The laid-back older brother of the group and widely regarded to be the strongest magician of the coven, Gio takes the safety of the group as a whole very seriously. Specializes in earth magic.
MARIE // The owner of the Blind Griffin. She was disowned by her high-class family because of her gender identity, but is allowed to keep the building provided the business turns a profit. Cultured and delicate, Marie is unfortunately a busybody for whom money seems like it's water. Do NOT make comments about her height.
ALEXEI // The displaced nobleman. He and his family were part of the Russian imperial court, but had to emigrate to America after the revolution. Though he acts cold towards people he's unfamiliar with and comes off as blunt and awkward at first, he is actually kind at heart and easily flustered. Specializes in water/ice magic.
EMILIO // The working class baby of the group. Emilio is the most junior member of the coven until the heroine arrives. His family runs a small bistro, but they barely make ends meet. His bad experiences with non-mages have put a chip on his shoulder and added fuel to his already hot-tempered, megalomaniacal tendencies. Specializes in fire magic.
??? // The heroine. The youngest child of a large Chinese family, she had to make herself useful from a young age and thus never received any formal education. She is practical, street-smart, and no nonsense. For some reason, she hates her actual name so she goes by a nickname (that the player sets). The extent of her powers is unknown.
VIVIENNE (VIVI) // The songstress. A city slicker originally from New York, she saw Bessie Smith performing live once and was so totally star-struck that she decided right then and there that she would put her all into becoming a singer. Vivi is bubbly and sweet-natured, but also quite headstrong. Specializes in air magic.
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This game is so good so far! I love the characters and how well-written they are! I can't wait to play more! Good job!
SO. GOOD. I've only done one ending so far and I'm pretty sure I got one of the worst endings but I'm definitly going to play more. I love the art style, the feel, the time period, the characters, the dialogue, everything! I usually don't like visual novels but this one caught my eye and I'm so glad it did. Keep producing!
Everything about this VN is phenomenal. The artwork is lovely: textured but not overcrowded. The setting is such fun, the atmosphere and mood of the speakeasy is smooth like good chocolate. The characters are each one unique and well-developed, and I just love the old language (with that witty built-in glossary!!). I look forward to playing through all the characters because the story is so engaging that I feel excited to see the full creation.
I wanted to say that among my very favorite things is the simplicity of the choice branching system. For one thing, it makes for easy replay if you want to view the different possible endings quickly. But what's really valuable to me is the way it opens up thought about how seemingly small, innocuous words and choices can have a profound impact on the world and on other people. As you play the main character, you don't even realise at first how her words have affected other characters so strongly. Usually its the loud, powerful words that people focus on as being important. But in Alexei's branch (I haven't played the others yet), he is only able to hear the MC's strong words at the end if she has earlier on acted in a way that gains his trust and establishes herself in his eyes as thoughtful and caring. An early attempt at self-responsibility and a single expressed desire to end fighting between friends prevents Alexei from dying horribly in the end? What a way to say that it's the small things that matter! And the differences between those choices are so subtle!
I love subtlety. Thank you for the creation of this beautifully touching, provocative visual novel.
Hello, I'm currently thinking about making a visual novel based game, and I was wondering what software you used to make this game, and maybe some tips for beginner game developers?
I'm not the devs, but I think they used Ren'Py, a visual novel coding language that's based in Python. It's free to use and available at renpy.org
I LOVE this game so much!
I love it, but, there is a problem with the quick save and save functions. It always says there's an error. I played for a long time, but then my progress wasn't saved, and I was so disappointed. I dowloaded the mac/OSX 1.2 file. Please fix!!!!!
This game is really something. I played and finished the game in less than 5 hours, my god xD
But, seriously, this game is fantastic. At the start, the MC and the three male characters doesn´t even look like they are going to end up together, especially with Alexei. He was soooo different. But, OMG, his story and his ending was beautiful. I love more characters like Emilio, but the route of Alexei got me this time <3.
I played this game some months ago and how it struck me then still stays with me. It's distinct from the visual novels I played. The language is different, the characters are diverse and vivid. My favorite character is Alexei (whose backstory just hogged nearly all my empathy), though I have a childhood bias towards character types like Emilio. Marie and Vivi are also adorable!
I love this game soooo much! I wish there were routes for Vivi and Marie through!
Delightful game, I played it a while back and I'm just now getting around to reviewing, but I loved the game. Characters were great, theme was great, art was great. My heart ripped at Emilios bad ending, which was
This game is fucking phenomenal. I love the characters and the art style. I played through all of the endings and I cried quite a few times lmao.
Ugh, just finished playing through the entire game with all its endings, and it's just such a gorgeous, gorgeous game. The artwork is sumptuous and I absolutely adore the character designs (both visual and story-wise). I only wish that this game was longer!! The characters have so many wonderful psychological issues to work through, thematic points, and backstory to cover, that I really wished we'd gotten to see more of all of them. I agree with other comments in that I would've loved to see more choices and a more drawn out ending, as the ending in all routes definitely did feel rushed. I also felt let down by Alexei's bad ending (lol), since it wasn't quite as dark and heartwrenching as the other two. Emilio totally had the best endings overall, but Alex was adorable and Gio had such a compelling storyline.
can you please tell me how to get alexei's and emilio's best ending?? T^T i cant seem to get them at all...
Very awesome game! Enjoyed it very much! Beautiful graphics and storyline!
Great game and loved the first playthrough. Did run into a few hiccups with the music skipping, the game seizing up, and a few typos but I'm really looking forward to another playthrough here soon. If you want to check out the one I just finished or any future ones I do you can find them on my Twitch stream channel: https://www.twitch.tv/justkaythegamer
I do really think additional routes for Vivi and Marie would be pretty awesome though and give use a chance to learn as much about them as I did with Alexei in this playthrough.
great game. love the art work <3
I love this game so much. More than you could ever know. I only wish that there were routes for Marie and Vivi because honestly they are both pretty hot ladies.
I really like this but- I got the Lethe ending- what the hell? I don't get it at all. There was only ever 3 choices and they were all dialogue choices. How did I get a bad end?
I honestly felt bad that this is free. I wish that it was on steam so that I could contribute to the developers and artists! It's such a great game, with a great story and artwork!
PS: I read that you can purchase the artbook and the original soundtrack, but my problem is, my card doesn't have USD. It'd be much better if it was on steam.
Cheers to its creators!
i like that this is short and sweet? it was a really fun experience with great art to complement the great writing! every character seems to have a unique voice, and everything feels really well put together? well done!
This was well put together. Im blown away by the art style and, the atmosphere. Going to be doing a whole series on this!
great game .
Hi, I have a problem. At the begining of the story, when Emilio says that women dont go war and Vivianne respond that he neither, the game crash. It's completely stoped, the cursor don't move but the music its ok.
I quit it and download various times, using the windows vers and the all platform, but always stops at that point. What can I do to fix them?
I'm on a mac as well and I am also having trouble saving. This is happening to me as well, unfortunately I don't have a solution, but it's good to know that I'm not the only one experiencing this :/
Hey, if you're still having an issue with this - I posted an answer under MiunaShiroi's comment - hope it helps!
In case you (or anyone else) still needs help with this, it seems like the problem is permissions. First try the following: right-click on the program, chose "show package contents," then click "MacOS" and finally click "The Blind Griffin." This opens up the game; see if saving works.
If it doesn't, try the following: instead of clicking the "MacOS" folder, go to "resources," then "autorun." Right-click "The Blind Griffin.py" and choose "Get info," scroll down and change the "staff" and "everyone" permissions from "read only" to "read and write." Finally, do the same thing for the file "The Blind Griffin.sh" (I wasn't sure which file was the problem, so I changed both to be safe). For whatever reason, I still get an error if I try to run the program normally (i.e. by clicking on the icon), but it works if I run it from the "MacOS" folder. Hope this helps!
I loved this story, moreso because of the way you've involved the reader so much. I don't just mean in story options but the ability to explore the dialect and colloquialisms of the time was wonderful and I had to use that quite a few times (I'm Irish, so I've never heard of some of these terms).
I played Gio's story, got la'more and I'm happy. I'm not even going to play any other path. I got exactly what I wanted and I love this game :D I think I'm also biased though as my husband is American and talks to me just like Gio does, they even look the same heheh
^^ That was a fun game. Only played through one story, but I'll be back to try more.
I'm being consistently told I'm missing 'The Blind Griffin.exe,' and I have no clue why or how... Anyone else having this issue or know how to fix it?
From the art, character design, characters relations to each others, BGM, and the flow of the story : I trully adore it (although the romatic endings seems a bit in rush, but somehow covered with characters background story in Extra).
And how I love the heroine's makeover (if the heroine wasn't stated as female, I would have predicted she will be an androginous or even non-binary character), and she remind me to Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby xD
Maybe it's just me overanalyzing, but I realized that :
a. the LI's usual work attires are contrary to their own selves (Alexei's red shirt to his calm-collected demeanor + water-based magic, Gio has blue shirt vs his friendliness + "back to Earth" magic, and Emilio with green vest although his fire magic + hotheaded manner); but their New Year's suits, especially the colors of their ties, are compatible with their "true nature" and their magic specializations :D
b. I can't help to notice that golden ring as heroine's POV background is somehow an irony for the Cycle of Revenge Ending, but a great signification to Ring of Promise Ending, and oh I can't forget the CG is pairing the happiest and saddest scene of each routes :')
Last bot not least, the LI's POV when repeating the story and that New Year's Eve "infiltration" to the lab are much appreciated xD
I have a question. Can someone tell how to get to the tenth ending of Blind Griffin? All 3 available route have their own three endings, ranging from bad, normal and good. Logically seen it should then sum up to a total of 9 endings, right? So I have quiet the hard time figuring out the last ending. Can anbody help?
welp, accidentaly the second ending I approached is the 10th ending... and I warn you it's the angstiest one after each bad endings from the three LI. Explaining this, I prefer to acknowledge there are a "bad" choice and a "good" choice for every heroine's reaction to LI.
(SPOILER - NOT SPOILER ALLERT!)
1. This instruction apply to every Love Interest you chose.
2. The 10th ending only could be achieved when the first two choice path is balance. It means : you have to get one "good" choice and one "bad" choice because....
a. if you have both "good" choices, then it will lead to Friendly ending or Romantic ending depends on your last choice ;)
b. if you have both "bad" choices, then it automatically ends your heroine to hell of Sad ending :')
3. then, at the last choice, chose intentionally the "bad" choice, so that the total answers you achieve are 2 "bad" choices and only 1 "good" choice.
4. Last, welcome the story of 10th Ending named "Lethe", and how irronically the real signification of that ending's title :'(
Hopefully it helps you :D
i don't know why, but i already hate the studio.
thank you creator for making this game.
First of all, I really enjoyed this game. It was charming, original, and the overall artwork was beautiful. However, it is a bit short in my opinion. I understand it's very difficult and time consuming to create a long, high-quality visual novel, but I feel that this game has a lot more potential. Other than that, I loved the 1920s theme and soundtrack it's so original and so well-done! The vocabulary words are a nice touch as well. I also commend you on the replay ability features. (when you don't get the best ending the first time, your perspective changes to your love interest during some parts of the game). Overall, this game was short and sweet, (I would love it to be longer) and a great game in my book.
I haven't played the game yet but I had to make an account and comment on how eye-catching your game is. Not only am I sold on the time period but the diversity in the characters, but how the main character is Chinese... with freckles!? ACK! Never have I found a character I could connect with on a physical level. Not a lot of VN or games have a badass lookin' character as her. Can't wait to play it!
My central complaint is gluttonous in nature: the writing, setting, central premise, and cast of characters are all so wonderful... well, it's a shame that there isn't more of it. I was spellbound by the narrative and really grew to love all of the characters, but wish I could have spent more time with each of them. Selfish, I know. But hey... this is all so rich and original, it could easily sustain a bigger game.
I would happily donate to any Kickster for a longer, more comprehensive Director's Cut of this game.
Things I loved:
I was dazzled by the beautiful artwork, sleek mechanics, and well-written characters and conversations. Authenticity to the racial tensions and culture of 1920s. Inclusion of POC, a trans matriarch, and a lovable, diverse cast of characters. Wonderful game mechanics, though there was lag in the skip option, including the definitions of 1920s slang and intro tutorial. It was so enjoyable to click through the scenes and look at the design.
The MC is Chinese American (like me! woohoo) and kickass. She's strong-willed and offers insightful analysis of gender norms and racial stereotypes, and owns up to the many mistakes that she makes. I enjoyed the inclusion of each character's native language and how natural it felt. The initial interactions between MC and the coven are so adorable, especially Vivi and Emilio's bickering and Alexei and Giovanni's hilarious bond. The nude scene cracked me up. Blessings upon blessings to Marie and Vivi for setting MC up. >:)
Giovanni was by far my favorite character :). I was pleasantly surprised by Alexei's kindness, and though Emilio pissed me off quite a bit, the last romance scene was the best out of the three LIs. I liked how the story challenged my initial perceptions of the LIs and other characters, much like how the MC grows as a person.
1) Pacing is awesome until after the confrontation with the LI. From there, it gets faster and faster. The true love/neutral endings feel rushed and underdeveloped, and the climax of the story, which is MC's test, is barely touched on. The ending romance scenes feel a bit awkward and out of place, which is disappointing because of all the great build up in the first half.
2) Lack of choice. We only get 3-4 choices per LI, that I didn't feel held enough weight to have so many influence on the ending. I liked the MC's personality and responses, but I wished we had more control over that. It would also be nice to have more say over the development of romance. It was sort of evident with Emilio's route (hold hands vs. put hand on shoulder), but not so much with Alexei and Giovanni. I didn't think calling him a flower = let's move to Paris and sleep together ahaha, no matter how in love with him I am.
That being said, I could never understand the insane amount of work that goes into creating a game, especially one this well-executed and created within the span of a month! Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of playing this visual novel. I look forward to seeing your future projects. :)
oh my god, i love this game!!!
first of all, beautiful art. the characters are wonderfully designed and drawn, from their physicalities to their clothes to their facial expressions. the design of the buttons, the text, etc is also gorgeous. i love it so much, it's so nice to look at and really fits in with the rest of the game.
secondly, brilliant functionality. really thorough explanation at the beginning of the works of the game which was super handy. and i love how there's quicksave functions as well as regular save, how you can click the mouse or press the spacebar or the return button (my favourite is spacebar and i dislike clicking the mouse to continue - but everyone has different preferences so i really appreciate that you made sure there were options!). i love how there's a screenshot function.
thirdly, amazing job with historical accuracy. i love the glossary! it's so useful for comprehension while maintaining historically accurate vocabulary, and your definitions alongside your witty comments make me laugh!
fourthly, excellent music! it really added to the feel of the game and imo, perfectly matched the different scenes and situations. and it felt very 20s so that helped add to the historical setting. i don't really know what else to say about it other than AAAA I REALLY LIKED IT bc i have no idea what i;m doing when it comes to music, but oh my god, amazing job.
and last but certainly not least (probably actually most!), is the fantastic characterisation and gameplay. i believe i've played all the alexei as mentor routes now (and am in love with him), and have yet to explore the other routes, but i have been having an absolute blast!! this is so fun, the concept is very original, the plot is super engaging, the dialogue is brilliantly written and incredibly entertaining. i love all the characters and they all feel really real and multi-dimensional! and i love hearing their backstories, which again, are really well written.
tagging on from that, great representation! thanks for making a chinese protag! i haven't come across many games with chinese characters let alone a chinese protag, and as a chinese diaspora this means a lot to me. plus i love the inclusion of a trans character despite it not being core to the game!! only thing i might critique about the writing of marie was the language aroun "being born in the wrong body", but then that is the experience of many trans people, just not all, and you didn't imply that it was all. perhaps you could make it clearer that it is not the experience of all trans people? (speaking as a trans person) although i realise it might be harder to weave that into the game now, but just suggesting this for future reference.
anyway, thank you so much for creating this amazing gem of a game!! i can't believe you've offered it initially for free with pay-what-you-want, it's very generous of you to do so when the game has clearly had a whole lot of heart, soul, time, effort, and energy into it! i will definitely be tipping, and hopefully tipping more once i have more money because i genuinely believe this game is worth it and would like to thank you for this amazing, wonderful gaming experience!!
In love with Alexei... but okay, PLEASE, I need to know what Marie's specialty is??? Did I miss it???
remember when there's a part where you have to give the boys the ties and you forgot to give them the ties at the end. remember the part where the game said you heard snickering but when you turned around there was no one? i think marie's power has something to do with that..
If referring to Vivi's (or is it Marie's?) explanation about 5 basic nature of magic spesialization, we already have fire (Emil), water (Alex), earth (Gio), air (Vivi), and light (the heroine herself)... so the only element's left is the opposite of the heroine's, which is dark, and we only could assume Marie is mastering dark element.
i absolutely LOVE this game ,the main character has a really strong eill and i like that. the characters ere so cute and i didn't even mind the bad endings because they were really clever and weren't just the normal "you didn't get in his pant" type of ending.but yeah i really loved the game
Really love it so far. Got all the endings for alexei. Taking a break to prepare myself for the other guys as the bad ending really took a toll on me and others have said his isn't the worst. The good ending was worth it though, as I luckily got it after all his bad/ not romantic endings . Loved everything about the game (animation, characters, setting, storylines ). Wish Marie and vivi were dateably