You may recall earlier this year when I spoke of Mystic Messenger, the mobile dating sim game created by Korean company Cheritz that blew up in certain circles on the internet. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the game, I lamented that Jaehee’s route—the only woman on the datable cast—left off on a wholly unsatisfying note. To that effect, not too much later I recommended a fic that I hoped would soothe the pangs left by Cheritz. This time, I aim to do the same, but through a different medium. Though the fandom has quieted, if you’re like me and still eagerly, but silently, waiting for more Mystic Messenger content, I bring to you this fan-made game starring none other than the queen of the RFA: Jaehee Kang.
Minor spoilers for Jaehee’s route and after end in Mystic Messenger.
After months of playing, I’ve gotten to a point where I can say I’ve “beaten” Mystic Messenger in its current state. Through secret stories and after ends, I’ve seen the highs and lows of all the characters, cried legitimate tears worrying about these assholes, and stubbornly ignored Cheritz’s canon of 707 being in love with you in every route (because if there’s anything I love, it’s being made to feel guilty when I don’t do a specific route). Through all of this, I’ve come to one very strong conclusion: Jaehee deserves better.
I can’t say that this is a particularly startling revelation. As the only woman in a cast of hot guys—in a dating sim—it’s par for the course that she gets ignored or only briefly mentioned in a portion of fan meta, and her canon relationship with the main character (or, as canon as any other character’s) is seemingly way less popular than non-canon relationships between the male characters. And, well, I would be lying if I said that Cheritz didn’t have their own hands in this. Jaehee’s route, after all, is “Gal Pals: the route”, leaving off an ending that is just ambiguous enough to maybe ignore that it was hella romantic, and in her own damned after ending (the “happy ending” some number of months later) she shows up for only one line at the very end. I and many other fans remain disappointed with this—frankly—bullshit, so today I bring you the gayest of gay Jaehee fic to fill the hole left by Cheritz.
Upon finally finishing Mystic Messenger, I’ve come to one conclusion: I’m dead. Emotionally dead. As far as otome games go, Cheritz’s Mystic Messenger has some of the best writing I’ve ever seen, and a plot full of more twists and turns that I would have ever thought possible from a freemium-styled mobile game. While the game does have plenty of cute moments and funny interactions, as well as drama, these are all to be expected. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was a deeper look into the tragedy of mental illness, and how even the best intentions can lead to an ultimately harmful ending for more than one person.
As opposed to many people who shared my excitement, the release of No Man’s Sky was just about everything I expected. However, what I didn’t expect was that, for me, its release would be completely overshadowed by another game. Back in July, messing around on Tumblr, I found some screencaps of a mobile dating sim and thought to myself, “what the hell, I’m not doing anything else right now,” and downloaded it. Looking back on it now, this could have been the biggest mistake of my summer, but only because Mystic Messenger is perhaps one of the most engaging dating sims, mobile or otherwise, that I’ve ever played. Three months of playing and still going strong, I figured now was about the time to write about it.
As the game itself does have a potential pay-to-play quality to it, I’ll be writing from the perspective of someone who has only done all of the character routes—not the after stories or secrets.
Spoilers for Jaehee’s route behind the cut.