First Impression: I MUST PROTECT THIS MAN!
Victor is such a cutie! He is like this precious cinnamon roll you just want to protect from the ugly world of politics. He has a fragile heart, scarred by his creation of Zicterium, that was responsible for virtually wiping out the Vampires, that later became the Horologium that serves as Cardia’s heart. Now, it in a way to atone for his sins, he intends to locate the secret stash of the stolen Zicterium that is planned to be used as a mass weapon of destruction, all to initiate a World-Wide War, and destroy it once and for all.
Like Van, Victor couldn’t forgive himself, nor allow himself to let go of the past. He truly believes he is not a good person, and never thought he had any right to be loved or respected by anyone. He was a man of who was continuously haunted by the past. As a way to atone for his “sins”, he took it upon himself to face the challenge head on, instead of running away without putting up a fight.
Yet for someone who has been betrayed and exploited by his superiors, it really surprised me to see Victor was somehow able to trust Victoria, even after she betrayed him twice. Of course Victor never trusted the Queen, but he was counting on how she puts the nation above herself to be able to persuade her to get off his back. Unfortunately in this world, she had other plans, and intended to continue to use him for political purposes.
If there was one thing I noticed about Victor in this route, he really likes negotiations! The guy looked to negotiate whenever he gets the chance! However depending on who he was trying to strike a deal with, his success varied. Those who were cold-blooded and had the unwavering resolve wouldn’t budge. Those whose convictions revolved about holding themselves to the highest honour and justice, will likely listen.
By now we already the basics our beloved heroine is a dare-devil, a badass and a courageous girl. And now in this route, Cardia proved even when she is perilous condition, she is one hell of a fighter, even proved to be an escape artist, continuously to push herself to the limit, even when she’s about to collapse. But it was in this route in particular, where I felt we were able to learn a little bit more about her character.
Cardia showed us that she is an incredibly curious girl, and has the tendency to be drawn to dangerous things (which is funny considering she is a serious hazard herself). She showed us that she definitely has a strong interest in chemistry, mainly the ones that explode, and was super excited to try it— enough to spook Victor a bit.
But the most important part about this route, was introducing us a core piece of the main storyline: The Philosopher Stone. They gave us a sneak peak of the role it was going to play, and how it fits in Isaac’s plans. Unlike having a piece of fragment removed from the Horologium, the Philosopher Stone is an even bigger threat. It is the Horologium’s true potential, by becoming the essence of Death itself that will kill many should it complete it’s transformation.
However I was a bit taken aback by the sheer tunnel vision she had for Victor when he disappeared. I was baffled that she had actually fallen for Aleister’s trick to lure her out with a fake letter that looked as though Victor had written it. Although Cardia has shown she can be terribly naive, I thought after all she has been through, and based off what she knows about Victor, she would have acted a bit smarter than that! To be perfectly honesty, I felt it was a bit forced, solely to set up the situation for Victor to rescue her in such grand fashion. But even so, the same thing could have been done had she gone out to search for him on her own, without being lured out by the fake letter.
When it comes down to Victor’s and Cardia’s love story, it safe to say it was heck of a slow one. A slow-burn if you will. With a little bit of guidance from Saint-Germain, she was able to learn the meaning and importance of her feelings towards Victor. She was the one who made the initiative, which was important since Victor was clearly holding himself back because he didn’t feel like deserved to be loved. He needed someone like her to go after him, fight for him, and make sure he doesn’t run away from his own feelings. In turn, when things got ugly for her, he gave her hope, vowing he will save her. She just had to trust him (which I find rather ironic, considering he had kept all these secrets from her for so long), or else she was dead set on taking herself out than being the sole survivor left to be used as a weapon for war.
Tragic End: With time having run out, Cardia bravely takes her own life, and it content with her decision. Victor considers returning to the court, and will do his best for Cardia’s sake.
Happy End: Victor got the edge on the competition with his handy dandy alchemy skills. It is thanks to that and having discovered a way for them to suppress the Horologium’s poison, he was able to whip up a medication that would enable her to experience a normal lifestyle, and finally have alll~ the sexy times they want. FUFUFUFU WE ALL KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING VICTOR. NOT SO INNOCENT AS YOU LOOK ARE YOU NOW?!
However as much as I adore Victor the route itself was a mixed bag for me. It had a rough start by kicking off Chapter 9 with Victor breaking his promise of returning back to the Mansion after he had stopped her from running away. With Victor MIA, and Cardia in shit condition no thanks to Finis triggering the Horologium with the Pendant, for a week she did nothing but wait for him, until she eventually decides to try investigating his room where she discovers his journal, where a page blames himself for Cardia’s creation. When she reads that, much to my dismay, she wonders if Victor is her father. *FACEPALM* It has to be the dumbest thing Cardia had thought of all game— Thank god that he wasn’t, because that would have been hella awkward!
We all knew he wasn’t her father, and at first it was funny, but even though it only lasted a chapter and a half, the amount of times she thought about it had me face-palming in exasperation. But at the same time, the discovery in the journal also pointed to a pressing problem that has been building up since the beginning of the game: Victor is keeping far too many secrets from her.
Dear god, if I had to choose one thing that frustrated me the most, it had to be the sheer amount of secrets he had kept from her. I understand where he was coming from, but his intentions did more harm than good. He kept information that she had the right to know. Even though the truth was going to hurt her, it wasn’t his rights to make the call. It certainly didn’t help when you thought all of the secrets were all out, and there would be yet ANOTHER crucial detail that would pop up. It is a bit unfortunate we had to wait until late game to finally get it out of the system. Honestly, I am a bit surprised Cardia didn’t have any trust issues with him after that… but then again, she is the type of character who has good faith in her comrades, and is smart enough to understand he was only trying to protect her.
Once he finally got all the secrets out of his system, that’s when I started to enjoy the route again, and in turn the story finally stopped dragging its feet and picked up steam.
But there was one other thing that I quickly grew tired of, and that was Victor loathing himself.
Look, we get it, Victor hates himself for creating a substance that was later turned into a deadly weapon. I understand where he is coming from, but when he goes on… and on… and on, about how he doesn’t have the right to be loved, how he is not a good person, and never explains it, of course it’s going to wear me out. Thankfully, since this was part of his treasury of secrets, this was more or less resolved at the same time. The only downside, it took just as long to address.
Then there was the “Magically Immune to Poison” thing. Okay so maybe I am just nitpicking here, but I had a really hard time taking the whole poison attack seriously when Victor told Cardia, (who is litterally poison) to run for the hills, while he try to direct people to safety. This was of coures because somehow, someway, Victor miraculously was able to survive inhaling the fumes that killed Vampires. He also mentioned that the gas form acts faster than its liquid form, so you would think it would kill him pretty fast. Like at least equip him with a mask or something, or indicate he got a cloth over his mouth, or something!
It was fairly obvious that with Finis out of the picture, Queen Victoria would be the one to step in. In fact they dropped a big fat hint when they featured the flashback of someone investigating Isaac’s Secret Lab. The keyword of course, “For the sake of Britain”.
Victoria is a powerful character. She is cunning, manipulative and fierce woman, who would not allow herself to be outwitted by the likes of Aleister. She bloodied her hands by killing her father, and even though it hurt her to do so, she willingly embraced the role of the devil, being the “necessary evil”. But she goes to the extreme, by looking ten, twenty years down the line, and decides for the sake of the nation, she will sacrifice herself and the entire city of London, and launch terrorist attacks on neighbouring nations to plunge themselves and other nations into a World War while they are at the peak of their game. Of course it’s natural for us to think this is an unbelievably stupid idea, but the thing, what got to me the most was just how real her intentions were. Even in this day and age, we see this kind of shit happening, more often than not, backed by ulterior motives.
But what I found to be one of the highlights of this route, were the parallels between Victor and Victoria. Neither of them could forgive themselves for having blood on their hands, but the way they cope with it is entirely different. As the creator of the Zicterium, Victor takes the honourable path of justice, in attempt to prevent repeating mistakes from the past, where Victoria, who served as the initiator, embraced the role of the devil. She whole heartedly accepted that she will likely be sent to hell, telling herself her actions were all for the greater good. But most importantly, she viewed death as a means to set herself free from the burden she had to shoulder. She was however denied that, by Leonhardt being persuaded to act upon his own will, and do what he believed was best for Victoria, and that was to stop her, and keep her alive.
And Leonhardt is an unsung hero who needs to be appreciated. He may appear to be incompetent throughout the early and mid-game, but once we learn his story, and what he is truly capable of, he is one of the minor characters that holds a special place in my heart. I loved how even though he knew Cardia was not Human, and witnessed her powers, he still treated her and believed in his heart that she was not a monster, but a girl. One could argue that he has a soft spot for girls in general, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is a man who has a righteous code of honour, and that includes being uncomfortable with orders of attacking someone who is not fighting back, or will outright refuse killing an innocent person, even if it means defying the Queen’s orders. It did take a bit of persuading to do to encourage him to protect Victoria the way he wanted to, but nonetheless, it still proves that he is a good man. And I don’t care what anyone says, I ship Leonhard and Victoria. Their backstory and relationship was nice extra bonus to the route, and made their mark a memorable one.
And then we have the devil himself: Aleister. As we already have learned in Van’s route, this man is terrifying. He has no qualms of killing anyone, and had Cardia not escaped, he surely would have added her to the body count since he called Victor out on his bluff, and countered with his own. Fortunately Cardia’s arrival to the scene was able to prove she was not in danger and lose his leverage. He is a slippery snake who in the end, was able to single handily outmatch the military, and killed a number of men, including Twilight members as he waltzed his way out of “history” as they described it. It’s eerie to know he was able to get away and survive.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Victor’s route started out a bit shaky, but has a huge payoff when you finally reach the end. He was one of the lucky type of characters that managed to accomplish both of his goals without having to sacrifice one over the other. It came with a great risk, but he took a leap of faith, and he was able to reap the rewards. In fact, I would say Victor is the sole runner up after Lupin when it comes down to who has the best outcome for the Happy/True End!
It is absolutely a route worth revisiting once you complete the game, since varying on the playthrough order, you will find a lot of clues foreshadowing characters’ backgrounds. When I played this route for the second time, there were moments where I found myself connecting the dots to subtle actions you may have not thought about twice before.
Although we only really get to see the fluffy side of Victor’s and Cardia’s relationship during the early and late game (mid-game is all about the doom and gloom) I found they had some of the sweetest and most adorable adorable interactions in the game. I was also a huge fan of Victor’s confession scene. Honestly I was surprised he didn’t just kiss her then, because it was so beautiful, it sounded like they were exchanging wedding vows. UGH MY HEART!!!! Another one of my favourites had to be when how easily the two of them become flustered with each other once they became conscious of one another. The highlight of coures is seeing Victor grow more confident in himself, and was able to find some form of closure.
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