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Mystic Messenger is the third game of Cheritz – the same creator of other popular games like Dandelion- Wishes Brought to You and Nameless – the one thing you must recall. I never really had an interest in their games before but ever since Mystic Messenger happens, I have a huge urge to play them! Someday. Someday…

Mystic Messenger got released at the right time when I’m in need of mobile games. I’ve tried a bunch of games but nothing sticks and I’ve gotten quite tired of Neko Atsume and Notice Me Senpai! Compared to their previous games, Cheritz released the game for Android and later on, iOS. The game that you downloaded is an app that connects you to a chatroom. Someone chats with you and asks you to check out a place in which you did (unless you’re doing a bad end). In real life, don’t ever EVER do that. That’s super dangerous www. The first time I played the game, I was really bothered by MC’s actions. Anyway, one thing leads to another and now instead of the stranger, you enter a chatroom with members from a group called RFA. Now you have to live in that apartment and start gathering guests to host a party.

Cheritz keeps on improving the game for the players. Most of the new players have probably no idea how buggy it was when they first released this. Android users are like the beta players, testing out and reporting stuff. But the company has a good customer service and will attend to the reports right away. Cheritz has outdone themselves in this one.

The Chatroom

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One of the charms of MM is how close it is to reality. The other members interact with you in the chatroom where you can tease them, flirt with them, or listen to their stories. In fact, I feel like they trust MC a little too easy (except Jaehee I guess). These interactions allow you to gain hearts. You enter a route with a member who has the most number of hearts. Though there’s no gauge to see if whose member has the most number. Day 1-4 is the common route and Day 5-11 is spent on a character’s route.

As the game operates in 24-hours, there are chatrooms that open in the middle of the night. Now while it makes sense since it is 24-hours, it disrupts your sleep. But if you missed a chatroom, you’ll have to pay 5 hourglasses (game’s currency) to participate. That’s another problem. Hourglasses are hard to come by. Yes, some choices in the chat earn you an hourglass. But they are so scarce, it won’t be enough to cover the chatrooms and missed calls. The hearts can also be exchanged for HGs. Another BUT though. 1HG = 100hearts. Too expensive! Not to mention that it’s troublesome to repetitively click the buy option to exchange instead of a drop-down menu to select how many hearts you’ll exchange. But how can you get many hearts when you have a lot of missed convos? So that leaves us with only two option: open the chatroom/takes calls on time or buy hourglasses. I took the latter option. As much as I want to take everything on time on my rest day, I’m bound to miss the ones at midnight. My sleep is far too precious to miss lol. When I have work, I miss like 70% of the chats and calls. And while you can participate in the latest chat as long as you read the previous ones (without participating), how could I miss not trolling or flirting with the guys?!?!?!

On a recent update, Cheritz applied a feature where you can get hearts when you click that Honey Buddha Chip on the Main Menu. I don’t know how it exactly works but from what I can tell, the number of hearts you get depends on the number of times you read the secret thoughts of the characters. I might be wrong on this one but that’s what I noticed on my playthrough.

Calls and Texts

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Other than chatting with the members, they can also send you texts and calls. You cannot text them on your own but you can reply to their texts and still gain heart. You can call them as well with 5 HGs. Be mindful of the time when calling them, though. For instance, Zen is mostly available in the evening while Yoosung will most likely pick up anytime unless he’s at school or playing LOLOL (or he’ll pick up while playing but won’t pay that much attention to you lol). Or you can check out Ili’s phone call guide here.

Calls might appear unnecessary and a waste of HGs but I see it as another way of getting to know the characters. Sometimes a single phone call reveals so much about the character that you probably would not have guessed in the chatroom. It’s not like calls have a big effect in getting a good end nor does it increase hearts. But still, I find them important in knowing the characters. For instance, I always thought that Jaehee would sound really strict like the usual stiff secretaries in the anime. In her phone calls, she’s rather sweet and just someone who gives you logical pieces of advice more than emotional ones. Not to mention, her fangirling tendencies whenever she talks about Zen’s performance is so adorable!

Emails

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Your main job is to invite guests to the party. Other members will suggest a guest and it’s up to you to invite them or not. I suggest having a guide or if you wouldn’t want that, at least save before answering the emails. Not inviting anyone or failing to answer the emails results to normal ends. So you can aim for both the normal end and the good end at the same time. Remember to not open the last email the guests will send you then save before going to the party. Once you get the normal end, load your save file and open all the emails to get the good end.
Another thing to note is that there is a mini story behind every guest. Once you’ve read them, you can get HGs in return. More HGs, more fun! Lels

Music
For a mobile game, the music is great! The bgms are catchy enough but the OP and ED are something. The OP is upbeat while the ED is beautiful yet heart wrenching. Word of advice, though, the lyrics of the songs might be a bit spoiler-ish.

The RFA members
The story is divided into two: the Casual story and the Deep story. You can go after Jaehee, Yoosung, and Zen in the Casual story. Deep story is only accessible by paying 80HGs. Jumin and Seven’s route are available in this mode. I guess they are separated since they both live in a different world than the rest, and they are much more involved in the secrets of RFA. For the record, I only finished the good ends of the characters. I have yet to see the bad ends and normal ends (I initially didn’t want to do the other ends except good ends. As of this writing, I’ve only done Seven and Zen’s.).

Each route lasts for 11 days, with the last day consisting of one chatroom and the actual party. When you think about it 11 days is short for you to really get to know them and fall in love, earn their trust, build a relationship etc. But somehow Cheritz managed to pull it off. Most of the plot advances happen in the chatroom. The convos are able to move forward the plot, with some visual novel parts thrown in. It reveals the personalities of the members, their dreams, aspirations, and insecurities. Sometimes it’s a little too real (and they break the fourth wall a lot lmao) and I can totally relate to them.

This is how I played the game (order of interest ww): Jaehee –> Yoosung –> Zen –> Jumin –> Seven. I would have rather played Jumin first then Zen but for the sake of plot, I endured. lol

Jaehee Kang

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The only other female member of the group. I admit, it is quite a let down when I learned that she’s a she. I thought I’m seeing things but then again she’s such a sweetie that I”m so glad to have her in RFA. Most players wouldn’t probably want to play her route but I tell you, her route is as enjoyable as the other ones.

Jaehee is Jumin’s chief assistant and an efficient worker at that, as in working all day every day. She appears stern and always rational but wait till you see her fangirl about Zen. I suggest doing her route first before his if you don’t want to get annoyed by her in Zen’s route. That will also make her understandable. I might be tiny bit jelly of Jaehee here. But! I also love her relationship with Zen. They just have that kind of spark that can be as lovers or as BFFs and I really really like it. It is so nice to see her open up. Her route takes the friendship end where MC mostly support her and be her strongest ally. She is an adorable friend and she deserves all the support and encouragement in the world. Out of all the characters, Jaehee is the one whom I relate with so her route hits home. ; A ;

 

Yoosung

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Yoosung is the youngest member and a university student. He is like a younger brother who happily follows MC a lot and takes comfort in her kind words while everyone else is bullying him.

Yoosung has a little obsession for Rika and when I was starting the game, I got tired reading Rika this and Rika that over and over in the chatroom. And it gets worse on his route. Sure, he is sweet and all but he’s seeing past the MC. It’s heartbreaking to see him being sweet when he’s only seeing Rika to the MC. I’m more relieved than aww when I finished his route. I guess I can’t really move forward to see him other than a younger brother.

Funny thing is, I’ve grown fond of him the more time I spend in the game ww. Like how he cares for the MC in Seven’s route and how adorable he is in his calls in Zen’s route (2nd playthrough). Took me long enough to notice his charms~.

 

Zen

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BABE!!!
The route that I’ve been looking forward to since the start! Zen is a musical actor, who is narcissistic and flirts with the MC right off the bat. He is the sweetest and most charming guy in the game that it is not possible not to swoon over him. Despite his personality, he knows his limits (unless he’s dissing Jumin xD). In other routes, he cares a lot for the other members and worries for the MC. He is such a nice big brother to have. Under his narcissism lies a lot of insecurities when it comes to his talent and his passion for acting.

Prepare your heart for his route, though. How could anyone still be alive after finishing his route is beyond me. My poor heart gets killed a lot of times on his route. Not to mention, he’s got the deadliest phone calls among the characters. Sometimes I wonder if they are even allowed in this game ww. Zen set the bar too high for any 2D or 3D guy to compete. lmao

 

Jumin Han

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The young director of the company and Jaehee’s boss. He is obsessed over his cat, Elizabeth 3rd and couldn’t relate to commoners. Jumin is… dangerous in every sense of the word. He treats MC like his doll whom he could dress up with. He mostly decides and assumes things, thinking that it’s the best for her. He puts her on a pedestal. His decisions make sense when you think about it. How can you retort on something like that when he makes sound decisions but at the same time wrong and twisted? Well if you think about it, he grew up around materialistic people so he probably thinks that the best way to show his love is by material means. This makes his route kind of feels like Yoosung; they’re both not seeing MC for who she is and imposes their image of her on her. His sweetness makes me sad. At times like this, I applaud MC for her strong mental fortitude and for being patient and understanding.

 

707

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Playing Seven’s route is like going through Van’s route again in Code:Realize. Not in a violent way, but more of how both guys deal with their feelings. Seven’s the ultimate troll. He loves joking around teasing the other members and just lightening the mood. Yet you can sense a wall he builds around him. He is good at diverting the topic if it centers around him to another member to make them shine and have him disappear in the background.
But Seven’s route is anything but sunshine and rainbows. He has a difficult background and a complicated life and even complicated feelings. He wants MC to stay away from him, but not too far from his sight or he’ll lose composure not seeing her. He tells MC to give up whatever “useless” feelings she harbors for him and goes on ignoring her. But notices whatever she’s doing answers the phone despite saying he’s too busy feels bad for ignoring her. He’s hot and cold like that. How can MC give up on him when his real feelings slip on at times? Seven and all of his baggage and feels.

Out of all the members, save HGs when doing Seven’s route to call him. The chats don’t give enough justice to his emotional struggles as compared to his phone calls. He only shows his cold side in the visual novel mode and chats but the phone calls highlight his conflicting emotions. He pushes the MC not because he dislikes her but quite the contrary. These phone calls are equally important once he breaks out of his shell and starts showering her with love. Believe me when I say that you’ll feel a rush of relief when you hear his laugh once more.
The romance part is short. Well, for the most part, Seven’s route drowns me with feels. All the feels, sadness, and sorrow poured into one route. I’m empty than happy when I finished MM. Way back, Cheritz has a list of the most requested features in the game. The top 1 is having a V or Unknown route. I liked the idea back then. But after finishing Seven’s route, I want a lighter and fluffy moments with Seven more than anything else.
Thanks to his route, though, I’ll never look at the 707 in the other routes the same way again.

Extras
Finishing Seven’s route doesn’t mean the plot is over. Not yet. Still got a long waaaaay to go. There are a lot of things that are still unclear. The only thing that is established is the romance. I liked how Cheritz wrapped things up. The ending may be happy or not depending on your perspective. My take is that it is bittersweet. It’s like everyone got their own version of happy ending at the right time. They said that time heals all wounds. And it fits the RFA members perfectly.

Let’s talk about Rika – the girl who started it all. She created RFA and everyone can only speak good things about her. Her life is mostly mentioned in passing and I feel like even in the secret end, it was not fully revealed. I have conflicted feelings around Rika. She’s got some serious problem she needs to work out. Rika wants to play the Messiah role which makes me really frustrated about her. I’ve been doubting her intentions in creating RFA parties all along. I feel like there’s a catch in her innocence and pure intentions. But I also can’t deny that she’s a great girl when she’s stable. Hosting parties, helping people and all that is great.

If there’s one thing that I really dislike about her that would be stringing Saeyoung and Saeran in her schemes. Those poor boys are the pawn in her plan to prove something to V. Meaning, the entire Mint Eye thing is just a scheme to prove whatever which in turn affects and causes sufferings to a lot of people.

The end of the secret ending made me judge Zen (sorry babe) and Yoosung real hard. They choose the easy way for her despite all the sins she committed. And Yoosung’s all, “I’m the only one who can take care of Rika!” Puh-lease. I envy his ignorance.

But then again, maybe Cheritz feels like she had enough tragedies in her lifetime already. Rika needs help and time to heal after all.

…I don’t know anymore.

So what about V, you ask? I have conflicted feelings about him too. I hate the fact that he appears like the savior, the ultimate boss in most of the route! But then the Secret Ends happened and you’ll see him in a different light. He is not the messiah but rather the martyr all along. Then I hate myself for hating him when he is just another poor soul. He just wants to protect everyone from Rika and even Rika from herself. He bears all the pain alone so that others can be happy.

But I think that is just fucked up as well.

Everything that V does is just extreme. He is too kind, too protective, very little self-preservation and loved a little too much. I don’t know if that’s just how artists’ minds works but I think him indulging Rika results to her, even more, dependence on him which leads to well you know what.

V reminds me of this song: too much love can kill you.

Then of course, Unknown. Saeran is the very victim here. His ending is the ultimate despair end. How can you see the world the same way again when the person you trusted the most betrayed you? And then you’ve been betrayed a thousand times after that? I was to defend Seven here and say that it was hard for him too. But at least Seven have something in the end: RFA and MC (okay maybe Vanderwood too). Saeran got none but more pain.

That is not to say that he doesn’t have crimes. He does. Probably not on Rika’s scale, but he commits mistakes. I can’t accept how he blames everything onto Seven/the world when he does nothing for his situation/himself. Yeah, he’s weak AND coward but I don’t think that is a good reason to just wait for a miracle to happen and poof his life is suddenly better.

Despite the ending of him being more stable and a big tsun, I still can’t imagine him getting happy??? Because no matter how you look at it, he appears to be the third-wheel between Seven and MC. Seven can’t love them on the same scale and it’ll be harder to do that once they start a family. Just imagine seeing your twin you envy the most being happy and in love when you’re watching on the sidelines feeling like a sore loser. BITTERNESS MUCH.

Wrapping Up!
At this point, there is already 219823491834 posts about Mystic Messenger across the internet and you’re probably tired seeing any more of it. That goes to show how phenomenal it became just a few months after it’s release. MM has flaws in terms of plot but that doesn’t make it less of a good and engaging game. Job well done Cheritz!

Guides

I’ve compiled the guides you can use while playing MM.

Good End Guides:
1) https://otomedreamworld.wordpress.com/walkthroughs/
2) http://otomeobsessed.com/mystic-messenger
3) http://dorchii.tumblr.com/mysticmessengerguide

For Bad endings: http://foxyotomelady.tumblr.com/post/148537492806/bad-endings

Heart Breaking Heart (a.k.a tips to get bad ends) http://zentherainbowunicorn.tumblr.com/post/149589984186/hello-i-was-wondering-if-you-know-how-to-get-all

Heart Raising Guide http://nohrslittleprincess.tumblr.com/post/149133927355/mystic-messenger-heart-raising-guide

CG Spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kqY-ki9xCZ5RItV-pHI5PFQNE1LDKYnJD69k8q_w2K4/edit#gid=690027875