The route where EVERYTHING HURTS.
First impression: Suspenseful first encounter, gave a me a fright. Owner of the Manor, TOTALLY SUSPICIOUS. Says he “claims” to be from certain places. Did I mention TOTALLY SUSPICIOUS? This guy is so mysterious… It makes me curious! Early Prediction: He’s immortal.
…And just when I thought this game couldn’t have a more tragic route, comes along Saint-Germain! Holy shit this route, THIS ROUTE ABSOLUTELY DESTROYED ME. But compared to Van’s, this is more like a romantic tragedy because our two lovebirds are up the most formable enemy: Idea, an order that focuses on “guiding” humanity on what they believe, is the ‘Correct Path’.
From the very beginning, I knew Saint-Germain was immortal. He was shrouded in so much mystery, his ambiguous introduction and the heroine not noticing his presence right away screamed to me he was either immortal, a ghost or some sort of supernatural being. I also became suspicious of the fact he seemed to be aware of people’s fates and the roles they played. There was even a point I wondered if he could use magic, and my suspicions of supernatural phenomena continued when he revealed he was an Agent of Destiny, who served as a “Messenger” (a more sophisticated name for his role as an Assassin). It turns out he has been dead for thousands of years, his soul was cut away from his corpse and was placed into a cursed immortal vessel, and was tasked to slaughter countless people and in turn saved million others. He was also responsible for not just finishing Finis off for good, but assassinating the long lost Isaac Beckford. His greatest crime was being unable to kill a child he had grown attached to. And since the child survived, he in turn ended up spreading the Black Plague that wiped out a third of Europe’s population.
But what makes his backstory so heart-wrenching is the fact Saint-Germain takes no pleasure in massacring villages. Every time he kills, it only makes him feel worse. And the fact he could not kill the child he had grown close to just shows this man is not a monster, nor is he a psychopath, but one who actually has a heart that is being forcefully locked away by the chains of Idea. And once again, he was forced upon a task to kill the one he has fallen in love with, by Omnibus who thought by doing so, would liberate him from his past mistake.
Perhaps the most bittersweet part about this story was how despite being given the mission to assassinate Cardia, Saint-Germain hesitated countless times, gave her countless windows of opportunities to get out of this situation, and even outright told her how much time she had. If she was going to be killed, he felt he had to be the one to do it, because he feared should she be killed by one of his colleagues, or anyone else for that matter, she would have an agonizing death.
Out of all the routes, I found Saint-Germain’s love for Cardia to be the most memorable. I always felt that Saint-Germain was always there for her. He protected her, unconditionally accepted her, supported her, he loved her dearly. He always expressed these feelings, even when he wasn’t certain what the emotion he was experiencing himself. It was excruciating to watch him torment himself with being unable to decide whether to let her live or to let her die. He no longer knew what was right or wrong. The only thing he was made certain of that he could never bring himself to kill her. When he came to that conclusion, it was then he decided he was going to betray Idea, and take out all the Apostles for the sake of Cardia’s future. He knew by making this decision he would be stripped of his immortality and that he is at risk at being killed, and if he survived, wouldn’t have much longer to live. But Cardia’s happiness was the most important thing to him, and he was going to do everything in his power to enable her a safer and happier life ahead – even at the cost of his life.
As for Cardia, I felt she had appeared to be a a lot stronger, bold, and sharp-minded in this route. Despite Saint-Germain’s mask, she was able to see through the cracks and discern his sadness. She also surprised me with how conscious she was of her own feelings, something we have seen her struggle in other routes. She knew she loved Saint-Germain, and was not shy to express her feelings to him. Being able to get a read on him also proved to be incredibly important as she knew she could not get answers in regards of why he must kill her. By doing so, she started narrowing down the list of possibilities based on his behaviour, and ultimately came to the conclusion someone had ordered him to assassinate her. These little things threw him off-guard, he wasn’t expecting her to read him so well. And it’s really because of her willingness to fight for their love is what empowered them to overcome this conflict together, and find their happy ending.
In the end, their love for one another is brought out their most courageous and daring qualities. Once Saint-Germain made his resolve, even if it was going to cost his life, he wanted to fight for Cardia’s future, so that she would have the chance to live a more peaceful and happy life, even if it’s not with him.
This was the same for Cardia, who went to negotiate with Omnibus, boldly threatening to destroy the world with the help of Finis’ Pendant, the key to her true form. And that was absolutely fantastic……until Omnibus hijacked the momentum and turned the tables, getting Cardia to agree to save Saint-Germain under the conditions she kills herself….
YESSSSSSSSS!!!!! BLACKMAIL THAT BITCH RIGHT BACK AT HER. IN THE NAME OF LOVE, YOU WILL DESTROY THE WORLD, COME ON GIRL. STICK TO THE PLAN. DO NOT WAVER! DON’T LET HER GET INTO YOUR HEAD! BLUFF IT! YA GOTA MAKE IT CONVINCING!
Now that I think of it, she was never a good liar was she…
HOLD UP GIRL! WHAT WASN’T PART OF THE PLAN! JFC! STOP! STOP RIGHT THERE. BACKUP! WHAT THE FUQ? JFC THESE TWO ARE GOING AROUND IN CIRCLES, IF YOU’RE JUST GONNA KILL YOURSELF FOR THE OTHER, WHY NOT JUST DIE TOGETHER? WHY MAKE THIS SO FUCKING COMPLICATED? GIRL YOU GOT UPSET ABOUT SAINT-GERMAIN SACRIFICING HIMSELF, SO WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU THINK HE WOULD BE HAPPY FOR YOU TO DO THAT FOR HIM!? THESE TWO FUCKING IDIOTS I SWEAR TO GOD.
This irked me because this defeats the entire purpose of what Saint-Germain is already trying to accomplish by assassinating the Apostles. He is eliminating them so she can live, but the second she kills herself, all of that effort will be for nothing! How does this make any sense? And you would think Cardia would understand the kind of grief he would be put through if he were to lose her, just as she was devastated when he told her he will die for her sake! It also infuriated me that Cardia ended up rolling over, and agreed to have to fulfill to not just one, but two conditions in order to save him. What should have happened was, “Save Saint-Germain and let us both live, or else I will destroy the world.” But I guess had she said that, Omnibus could have killed her on the spot. She has the ability to paralyzed her, so it probably would have been a reckless move….Nevertheless, I am never a fan of noble idiocy, and this was kind vicious circle of who is going to die for the other could have been avoided altogether.
And while we are on the subject on the Pendant, I would like to address one glaring problem: The inconsistency in regards to how Finis’ Pendant works. This is only obvious after you play Victor’s and Lupin’s routes, the only other two routes that features the Pendant.
While it’s not used in the same way, Cardia still made contact with the Pendant on two occasions, and the second time should have been enough to trigger the Horologium’s awakening. The thing is, when she makes contact with the Pendant, before she gets stronger, she is supposed to get weaker. Amazingly, this issue never came into play, but if it had, the stakes would have shot trough the roof, and the decision of whether or not Saint-Germain could still let her live after that would have been an even more difficult and intense emotional rollercoaster. However had they done that, it probably would have mixed too much with Lupin’s and Victor’s respective events.
God, this route had a boatload of bad ends. Doom and gloom everywhere!
Tragic End: Saint-Germain is killed, and consumed by despair, Cardia cuts herself off from her friends and becomes an Apostle. As result she ended up suffering the same way Saint-Germain had during his time when had he served Idea. She now has the same kind of empty smile fixed to her face.
Honestly, I was expecting the two of them to die together, but nah, they had to make it extra tragic with Cardia living a miserable life, just as Saint-Germain had. Say what you want about her simply granting his wish, but this is by no means what Saint-Germain had in mind for her. He wanted her to lead a happy life, and this was just another means of internal torture.
Happy End: They defeat Guinvere and Saint-Germain is given another life and is officially dismissed from Idea. When he learns of the truth behind the deal, he begs Omnibus to spare her life. Luckily Guinevere backs him up, and manages to persuade Omnibus to let them have the opportunity to find a way for Cardia to live without the Horologium. With Idea off their backs for now, the two of them now travel the world in search for the cure.
So in the end, it looks like Victor and Lupin are the only one who get to have smexy times.
Saint-Germain’s Happy End has to be one of my favourite endings of the game. Saint-Germain wasn’t just going to stand-by and watch Cardia kill herself, he fought till the very end, and was lucky for Guinevere to have backed him up. This makes her the unsung hero of this route. Had it not been for her, I don’t think they would have been able to persuade Omnibus to give them time to find a cure. Although she appeared late, her character was pretty cool and I liked how she wasn’t a ruthless knight who will finish her colleague’s job because he’s too long without any hesitation. She was compelled to help them because not only she was amazed and taken aback by Cardia’s willingness to protect him despite he was out to kill her, but because she suffered a tragic love of her own, so she could relate to the two.
It was so nice to see Saint-Germain to freely express his playfulness and mischievous nature. I especially loved the adorable interaction between them, and the way he snuck a light kiss, not caring about burning himself. Cardia though, so even though he would love to kiss her more passionately, she wants him to try holding off until they found a cure. Then she will gladly pepper him with kisses of her own. I can’t blame her though, though though he can regenerate his wounds, kissing while burning flesh is well… probably unpleasant to say the least. Ahahaha…
One of the things I appreciated about Saint-Germain x Cardia was how they truly appreciated the little things. And on the contrary of their abnormal entities, the way their feelings had developed for one another was quite ordinary. This was actually something that stood out to me to be a little different than the other routes. Saint-Germain and Cardia would regularly sit and talk, have tea together, go to town to do errands, opened up to one another and gave each other support. Their love blossomed through such simple interactions, where as the others had always been caught up on the run during through cheer chaos and adventure. By the time the sea became turbulent, both Saint-Germain and Cardia had already fallen in love with each other, and were better prepared to weather the storm that threatened to tear them apart.
Another little tidbit to appreciate about this pair is their exclusively unique common characteristic. Neither one are human, they are both by definition, monsters. She is a living toxic doll who is said to bring death, and he is an immortal, a dead man who has been wandering the world for thousands of years who possesses regeneration/healing abilities. Not only does this make them kindred spirits, but this permits Saint-Germain to let her touch him with her bare skin. And while it may burn and cause pain, it will heal quickly. It is something he cherishes the fact he is the only one in the world who has that privilege. (…Though it can be argued he is a bit on the losing end considering Victor had figured out a way to suppress the poison, so in the end, it looks like Victor is the only one who gets to have smexy times without burning flesh…)
Besides the love story, this route had a couple of amusing perks to it. I found it amusing how there was actually a legitimate love triangle taking place. Saint-Germain was envious of Lupin and Lupin was envious of Saint-Germain. In fact it felt almost fitting how I saved Saint-Germain’s for second to last before I unlocked Lupin’s route, because the timing of all this seems to match well.
And finally, we can’t forget about this old hag: Omnibus. When it comes to ranking the villains, I consider her to be the second worst (after Aleister, who takes the number one slot). But that doesn’t mean Omnibus is cutting anyone any slack. She is a manipulative, cunning old woman who casually exploits one’s love for another by holding their loved ones hostage. She first starts off with threatening Cardia to let Saint-Germain kill her, or else she will revoke his immortality and he will die. She says he needs to do this in order to shake off his doubts and become a more capable Messenger once again. Then even after Cardia agrees to kill herself, she throws in yet another condition where they have to defeat Guinvere, and prove that even her predictions can be wrong. This hag never knew when to stop! Seriously what would we do without Guinevere…
FINAL VERDICT: 4/5
It is no surprise that Saint-Germain ended up being my favourite of the group. I just have a thing for tragic characters who has against the world for the one they love. Hell the moment I saw him, I knew he was going to be one of my top picks, so I was quite happy with my decision to save him second to last. Thank god for that, because during my very first playthrough of the game, I had accidentally locked myself onto his route. Although I didn’t know what I was doing at the time, my instincts told me to stop when the question came up of whether or not to stay or return to the original mansion- luckily I didn’t pick either answer at the time, and spared myself from spoiling myself the juiciest details that would quickly follow!
It’s a tragic love story alright, and it fucking hurts. In the beginning I started to get seriously worried when Saint-Germain revealed he tricked her and has essentially kidnapped her, and then drugged her so he could kill her. I was thinking, “GOD DAMN IT. JUST WHEN I THOUGHT THIS GAME DIDN’T HAVE ANY CRAZY YANDERES THIS HAPPENS.” At that moment I was just at loss because I liked this guy so much, but if he turns out to be some crazy psycho… That would have sucked. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, he had other reasons why he had to kill her, and given her opportunities to escape as well, mainly because he didn’t want to and ultimately chose to save her. The only thing that I kind of alarmed me was how he seems to be the quiet possessive type. When he kept on going on how “you’re mine” I was starting to get a bit worried. Luckily it didn’t seem to go beyond the scene they went back to Isaac’s labs, unlike I have seen in some other otome games…
And when it comes to seeking a route other than Lupin’s that focuses a lot more on the romance, look no further than Saint-Germain’s. Of course it isn’t sunshines and rainbows, nor do you see the two cuddling or the sorts, but they certainly are in the contention when it comes to having the most intimate scenes. I was whole heartedly invested in the story from start to finish. A lot of it had to do with how well it was paced. Not once did I feel like the story stalled or felt sluggish, as it has at certain points in the other routes. In the matter of fact, I felt that Saint-Germain had the strongest mid-game of them all. It helped that instead of waiting to reveal everything at the very end, they trickled out new information at a consistent pace. This helped keep the story flowing until the very end— even when the two of them were not together.
Gosh, I am so jealous of the other two (Victor’s and Lupin’s) endings. I have the mighty need for these two to have their lovey-dovey times, hopefully Future Blessings and Wintertide Miracles will be able to fulfill those needs.
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