Love. Without a doubt one of the most overwhelmingly powerful emotions one can experience, and when it works out, it can be genuinely wonderful. But there are unfortunately also times when, say, one person wants to run for the hills (or in this case, back to his wife and daughter), while the other simply wishes to keep showering their partner with love and affection. Welcome to Sweetest Monster Refrain.
Warning: This VN explores some dark topics such as: depression, suicidal ideation, rape, incest, and pregnancy. Viewer discretion is advised.
Still here? Alright. So, here’s what’s what: Robin Hawkins is married to Sally and they have a daughter named Melody. It’s far from the most ideal relationship ever, but you work with what you’ve got, right? Yeah. About that. I’m honestly not sure there’s much to work with when you’re in “a stagnant marriage”, your wife doesn’t seem to know what affection is, and your teenage daughter is essentially a stranger. Combine all that and it’s hardly surprising that Bell, the cat-eared beauty he meets on a late-night walk, just about bewitches Robin.
Bell is not, however, the (cat)girl of Robin’s dreams, as he first fancied – and, the more time he spends with her, the more assured he becomes that Bell comes, instead, from his worst nightmares.
Except, you know, he had a choice. A say in the matter. Sure, beauty, clever wit, and charms can certainly make for quite the alluring cocktail, but even so – he knew what he was getting into. At least, that’s what I would say, only he actually had no idea what might happen upon getting involved with Bell. I mean, it’s right there in the title, Sweetest Monster Refrain. Ah, if only video game characters were able to read the title of the game they’re in or other such details. I’d imagine a lot of potential trouble could be avoided then. Such is not the case though, and with around 60,000 words and two different endings to explore, this is definitely not a short tail. (Meow!)
“I really do love you… but I won’t forgive you if you try to run away.”
Now, one thing to keep in mind is that Sweetest Monster Refrain is a direct sequel to Sweetest Monster (itch.io, Steam) and related to another of ebi-hime’s works, Lily of the Valley (itch.io, Steam). Reading Sweetest Monster first is recommended, while Lily of the Valley is slightly less of a necessity for avoiding confusion in the sequel. Speaking of which, Sweetest Monster Refrain will not be on Steam as it was, to quote its creator, “banned from the platform”. Why? Hard to say. Valve doesn’t exactly make sense at the best of times. All related titles are on itch.io, however, so… positive thinking, you know?
Sweetest Monster Refrain is available on itch.io, for $7.99.