Lily of the Hollow: Resurrection Review – If Only I Could Understand What’s Going On

    Title: Lily of the Hollow: Resurrection
    Developer: Blue Fiddich
    Release Date: December 28, 2020
    Reviewed On: Switch
    Publisher: Navila Software Japan
    Genre: Visual Novel

The winter theme aesthetic is one that I can get behind. As the weather drops, my need to stay indoors with a nice warm visual novel is at an all-time high. Luckily for me, these wintery themes are the main subject of developer Rainbow Flute’s Lily of the Hollow – Resurrection. This narrative from a China-based team could tell a fascinating story undercut but an extremely messy translation.

Lily of the Hollow: Resurrection follows the story of a bodyguard nicknamed Red due to their choice of clothing and the fact the writers didn’t want to give the voiceless and faceless protagonist a proper name. Red has been hired to protect the young noble Claudia as she ventures to the “Post of the Lily” for a vacation in our unnamed country’s northern border.

A post is pretty much what you’d think of when you hear the word outpost; it’s a location that serves as a rest point between major areas from when people traveled on horseback. It’s not that long ago in the grand scheme of things, but also, I needed to write something of a definition down somewhere because it took far too long for me to find one that wasn’t intrinsically tied to the US Postal Service.

At this Post, Claudia and Red meet a collection of new faces of staff members who keep the place running. We’ve got a couple of servants, a bizarro poet, and the boss. However, while good times are planned, it seems a secret lurks beneath the more vacation-esque atmosphere that could prove to upheave the fate of those who work there.

Lily of the Hollow Resurrection 2

However, it’s hard to care about these mysteries, given a handful of issues that plague the narrative. Visual novels are a primarily text-based medium. This game’s text is a mess of constant typos, incorrect tense, and will leave you scratching your head sometimes, trying to figure out if right words are even being used. It seems that maybe the translators were trying to create a sort of archaic style of wording to set the tone of the story, but they were extremely incapable of doing so. As such, most of the dialogue feels like something you need to decipher.

This should have been obvious from the get-go, as this quality translation extends to even the title’s eShop. Just look at how it opens with “What is going to be acted before you is——Blossom in the shackles, but deep down in your bone, suspension and romantic.” What does that even mean? Please don’t answer that because I want to save us both the headache.

Lily of the Hollow Resurrection 5

There are other aspects to consider, of course. In terms of visual design, the game has its qualities. Some of the character portraits are quite cute, and I really liked the handful of CGs that encapsulate the story’s mountainous setting. The UI is neat, I like the main menu, and the game has your standard options of text speed and sound modifiers. The soundtrack varies between generic, forgettable tracks and amazing pieces for some reason too.

There are a couple of dialogue choices scattered throughout the story. However, they feel rather pointless as you get very little out of them in terms of meaningful character dialogue, and only one choice actually does anything. It’s the obligatory heroine route split choice, but interestingly it doesn’t actually change the narrative much despite the conflict the story presents.

Lily of the Hollow Resurrection 1

Lily of the Hollow: Resurrection might be better experienced in its native language. The grammatical errors render it almost impossible to follow as you spend more time compensating for the errors than paying attention to the plot. It’s still visually a pleasing visual novel, but one that won’t leave any meaningful impact.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Pyre Kavanagh

Senior Editor - Illusions to illusions. Will solve murder mysteries for money so they can buy more murder mysteries. @PyreLoop on twitter