Once upon a time, on the faraway island, always covered by snow, lived a young prince named Snowe. Quite a fitting name for someone to live on an island of perpetual winter, isn’t it? Anyways, the prince lived happily, surrounded by his loyal subjects who agreed with his every word. He casually walked to people’s houses, being met as if he was a member of their family, never to stop and ponder, how this could be.
That is until one night Snowe dreamed of a girl on a burning stow. And a scarecrow threatening to eat her. Awakened from the nightmare, the prince went to the library to learn if there is anything about this. His mentor tried to talk the prince out of it but ultimately couldn’t object (remember that no one could object to Snowe?). And as it happened, Snowe found his parents’ journal that indeed had a record about a girl, named Astra. Though it was written that Astra was locked in the tower and now everything will be fine…
Okay, I’m done with spoilers. All events above are happening in the prologue. As Snowe, you can wander around the city of Sabine and talk to people and even snowmen. Why snowmen can talk? I promise, after cut-scenes with the nightmare and the library Snowe will go to Astra’s tower and things finally will be explained.
But not before quite a few fights, labyrinths, and several party members joining Snowe. You know, jRPG business as usual…
RPGMaker Game in a Nutshell
To be fair, there is not much special about the gameplay in Star Stealing Prince. Still, among few features there is an absence of “random encounters” – enemies are all seen on the map and you can even avoid them. Though in most cases you shouldn’t, as you’ll definitely need experience points to become stronger.
It will also help if you find useful items. Some allow additional protection or grant special abilities, like the one item that weakens the enemy for a few turns after you use it. Other items are more conventional weapons. Or spell books that you can read to learn new spells. Snowe is a fire adept, but as a teen, he only started to learn magic. Finding the “Fire” spell from the start would definitely make things easier.
Astra can use air magic, her skeleton bodyguard Hiante is proficient with twin blades and can cast earth-based spells. And the last person to join you would be a woman named Relenia, who guards <spoiler> and happen to be water adept. Some elements even allow combos – hit wet enemies with lightning and they’ll get additional damage.
For all your companions you can find new spells as well, but also more powerful weapons. There are even special items that unlock the most devastating attacks. And if you find them all, that will even affect the story by allowing you to get a “true ending”.
In your quest, you’ll also stumble on a few puzzles. While not very complex, they actually make a good diversion between grind and other usual jRPG activity.
A Bit of Criticism
Probably, the biggest problem of the Star Stealing Prince is that some of the most important secrets are hidden so well, that you will never find them without checking literally every tile of the map. Or reading a guide.
One item is even hidden in a puzzle and you must apply the WRONG solution to get it. I could understand such a cruel joke for some sort of easter egg but not for an item that is actually needed.
Another problem I’ve already mentioned, this game is just it – typical jRPG. It doesn’t have unique combat mechanics or a special narrative structure, like Undertale. Just a special quest for a “true ending”.
Why I Recommend This
Still, despite that Star Stealing Prince has its charm and its merits. The latter being a great story with interesting characters and deep meaning. A story about life and death. A story about Snowe’s idyllic kingdom shatters, revealing the most unsettling truth. People who are close to you and who care about you are more important than most powerful magic. And horrible things will happen if someone will change one for the other.
Every fan of RPG Maker games should check this game. It will take about a dozen hours and is suitable for a young and adult audience. Though there is one moment (boss battle in the Sepulcher) that I would recommend parents to play with their kids, just in case.
The game is totally free and you can download it here (as well as walkthrough). And here is the main Star Stealing Prince developer’s site.