Since I've been on a magical girl kick lately, I figured I'd review Princess: the Hopeful. I'm going to be reviewing the version
and I'll mention the differences between that version and
when I feel it's interesting enough. I'm going to start off with the introductions on each wiki right now.
Princess: the Hopeful is a fanbook, much like Genius: the Transgression. It's based on the magical girl genre of anime/manga and the main goal of the game is fighting against fear. The game says it supports three different ways of playing!
- Light and Shadows, which is a generally light game where Princesses are the good guys, and their foes can be soundly beaten and their enemies redeemed, focusing on the coming of age story and realization of one's power to postiviely shape the world. It is most appropriate to games using the Innocents rules, where the player characters are children.
- Light and Darkness, a game where the protagonists are genuinely good, their opposition is wicked and nearly insurmountable, focusing on the contrast between the two extremes and the importance of the struggle between them. It is the assumed default playstyle, most appropriate to a standard game focusing on a group of adult Princesses.
- Shadows and Darkness, a game where the evil is genuinely evil but the protagonists don't have moral authority or righteousness on their side, focusing on the horror and difficulty of trying to rise up from one's own dark nature to do good. It is most appropriate to crossover games not primarily focused on Princesses, as it has the least contradiction with the themes of other gamelines.
That's why the world is so messed up, so Dark now -- because we've had Yin with no Yang (or Yang with no Yin, I forget how it goes). The inner goodness of all humankind still exists, but it's in a constant state of near-suffocation under all the world's darkness and despair. History progressed, and the inner light of humanity did its best, but its gains were meager and always threatened by darkness, despair, depravity, malice. When the darkness was broken and the Light allowed to shine through, it was entirely by accident. When the Apollo 11 spacecraft landed on the Moon, it opened a gate, and the Light, shrouded for so very long, began to shine again from the Moon, and got its chance to join the restarted cosmic cycle in earnest. Some believe the great nature of this accomplishment was what allowed humankind to hold on to enough hope to let the Light in, a metaphysical proof that mankind can accomplish. Some believe that landing on the Moon dispelled the illusion of the Dreamlands that the Hopeful's souls had been trapped in, allowing them to realize the nature of the world they inhabited. Some even believed the mission gained the intention of some vast, nameless, formless Thing, and the manifest darkness followed the little craft back to Earth to visit pain and fear upon its inhabitants... but in its absence, now there was no great darkness blotting out that area of the universe. This is why the Moon is so important to the Hopeful, why it gives them their powers, their visions, and their hope. The shroud of darkness doesn't cover the Moon any more, and it is from the Moon that the light of hope is allowed to shine, and with this light, the Princess will cast away the darkness, supernatural and mundane, suffocating man for so long.
In the end, the only thing we can be sure of is Ourselves.
We are the only mark by which we measure what we call Good and Evil.
But past those delusions, what really moves us is our Hate and our Love.
And when we see our love take form, we call that Hope.