Radiant Tale Review (Switch)

It’s showtime!

Released: July 27, 2023
Available on: Switch
Genre: Otome Visual Novel
Developer: Otomate, Design Factory Co.
Publisher: Aksys Games, Idea Factory
Review key provided by developers

I know I say this with in all of my otome visual novel reviews, but I love the genre. When a new one comes out and the premise sounds like something I would like to read, I just have to play it. Well, unless it has some aspects that I know I won’t like of course. When I heard about Radiant Tale and looked more into it, I just had a feeling that it would be a fun read. Especially since others described it as “if Disney made an otome visual novel”. So did it live up to my expectations?

Slight spoilers ahead.

Taking place in the fantasy world of Escholtia, Radiant Tale has us play as a young woman. You can rename her so I’ll go by her canon name, Tifalia, for this review. Tifalia lives in Escholtia’s capital, Artheir, where she has lived with her Aunt Spirea and a cute fluff ball fey beast known as Radie ever since she lost her parents at a young age. She also works at her Aunt’s inn, Liber, to help out and she also likes to see the customers happy after eating their wonderful food. Even more so when it helps a mystic flower called Chloris bloom with their pure elation. Tifalia’s life was as ordinary as you could imagine, well…that is until a certain dragon falls on her while she’s doing errands.

Don’t worry, he fell on her in his human form so Tifalia was faced with his cute face rather than crushed by his dragon butt. Tifalia and Radie learn his name is Vilio and while they don’t believe he’s a dragon just yet, they do help him find his acquaintances as he was looking for an inn for all of them to stay at (and Liber is of course chosen). This serves as an introduction to everyone and we learn that they’re a part of a performing troupe called CIRCUS. Tifalia and Radie even get a look at their performance and, well, it was horrible based on their reactions. Both of them give some good critiques, with Tifalia even voicing some of her ideas that would actually entertain the audience. This catches the attention of Jinnia, their leader, and he offers a contract for Tifalia to join as their PR manager and producer, along with Radie as the cute mascot.

Tifalia refuses at first, but Spirea and Radie talks her into it as it wouldn’t hurt for her to travel when she’s still young. Plus, you do get a sense that Tifalia does want to go to the places Liber’s customers talk about, but feel like she can’t. So she joins as CIRCUS’ official only ordinary member (and only girl) in the troupe alongside an airhead dragon, a spirit contractor who doesn’t want to use water magic, a prickly clown, a scary-looking acrobat, and an unmotivated leader. However, the situation turns out to be a little bit more complicated and this, of course, didn’t come to light until after Tifalia signs the contract. It turns out that ever since a nasty battle with Fiends (manifestations of negative emotions) a decade ago, Prince Colivus has had his heart frozen causing not only his body to stop growing, but leaving him in an emotionless, unresponsive state as well. To melt the Prince’s heart, Flora was created from Chloris nectar. Flora is much more potent that Chloris, and thus will pack more of a punch to unfreeze his heart, but it takes a lot more people feeling pure happiness for it to bloom (it also seems implied that a lot of people need to feel it at the same time). Needing to bloom 5 Flora, perfect number as there are 5 major cities, it’s time to start the adventure!

Once the journey starts, it pretty much follows the same outline as they arrive at one of the major cities, learn what the problem is there, try to connect with the citizens to tailer their performance, maybe run into some conflict, and then do their performance before moving on. Of course, there is enough time to carve out a little hang out time with the love interest (LI) you’re going for. This will send you down their branching route for the chapter and you’ll get some dialogue choices to get a chance at getting points with them (symbolized by the ever important Chloris flower as the Love Catch and petals for the points). Characters do often split up to do things and gather information, so you’ll only hear what the others saw or did unless your hang out choice was part of that group. Between the chapters there are also intermissions. This simulates their travel time between towns and we get to see any events that happened as they were traveling and any important conversations they had.

Radiant Tale also used perspective changes/switching in its storytelling. I think I first ran into this storytelling element in Lover Pretend and I remember wishing it was used more there. I loved Chiyuki and Tifalia, but sometimes switching perspectives can add to the story. Well, in Radiant Tale it’s used a lot more and it’s used well. There were one or two that felt too short, but I never found myself thinking it would have been better to not include it.

For the Common Route ending, it ends with all of the Flora bloomed and the Prince’s heart successfully unfrozen, albeit his body is still that of a kid’s. With their job done, everyone departs and Tifalia returns to her ordinary life. Well, not exactly as it does get a little spicier.

Of course, it’s not going to end there as we still have all of the LI routes. Getting at least 7 points with one of the LI will put you into their route after the events of the Common Route. After all, there was enough time to bond with everyone and develop a teeny tiny crush, but not enough to actually start a relationship. Anyway, this continues from hearing Prince Colivus’ heart being unfrozen, but not his body. It’s theorized that this is maybe due to the Prince being in denial of growing up, suddenly having responsibilities, and missing 10 years of his life (which is valid). The solution? Have CIRCUS tour again, but with Colivus as a new addition. After all, CIRCUS was able to unfreeze his heart, maybe they’ll be able to do the same with his body. Tifalia ends up pretty happy with this as she has become pretty attached to her fellow CIRCUS members and wanted to hang out again, but the others do have a variety of reactions before they come to terms with their plans being put on hold.

I liked Radiant Tale’s Common Route. I did hear it was on the long side, and it kind of is, but it was such an enjoyable read that it didn’t feel long. I liked seeing the different towns and the people that lived there, as well as getting to know the other CIRCUS members and see Tifalia grow. I also really liked the worldbuilding here, as it was interesting and was weaved in pretty well that it didn’t feel like you’re just getting a bunch of exposition. Talking about Tifalia, I really liked her too. Despite being ordinary, she pairs really well with the others and I loved seeing her grow from the selfless girl that never thought she would leave Artheir. Also despite me wishing she could see spirits, her being ordinary does serve as a good way for us to learn about the magical side of this world since she’s learning about it too. However, I was disappointed that only CIRCUS’ first performance was a circus performance before it moved to essentially being small stage plays based on how the cities were founded and the great spirits tied to them. I liked the stage plays, as it does seem to be well performed and it’s interesting hearing about the world’s lore this way, but the first performance was so fun.

So it’s time to get into all of the LI routes! I’ll be discussing them in the same order I did them in. I did find a soft route recommendation (Paschalia/Zafora > Ion > Radie > Vilio) that I ended up following.

I went for Paschalia first and he’s a spirit contractor who serves as CIRCUS’ conductor. He’s a kind and gentle character, though he does give off an air of aloof-ness at first due to his personality and how he acts. We also learn that he is very passionate for and about spirits, he’s kind of stubborn, and he’s from a small town in the countryside and this is the first time he’s traveled anywhere. Paschalia gets excited in his own way whenever CIRCUS arrives at a new city. Paschalia has a contract with a water spirit, and a strong one at that as his ethereal appearance is thanks to his hair turning as blue and clear as water. Though, he says he doesn’t remember making a spirit contract, doesn’t know who he made it with, and doesn’t like using magic magic. He’s actually trying to find another water spirit contractor so he can have a teacher.

During the Common Route we do see some hints that he’s hiding something and it’s connected to his weird hourglass he carries around and we even catch him mentioning someone named Vita. Well other than that, we do see some really sweet scenes between him and Tifalia during this time too. Actually, one of my favorite scenes in Radiant Tale is in his route branch where saving him from a group of researchers leads them to a field with a bunch of earth spirits. The earth spirits end up being little researchers of their own and Tifalia tastes the food that they cultivated in various different ways and gives her thoughts on how they look and taste. Like how cute is that? So cute. Really makes me wish we got more cute spirit interactions and that Tifalia could see spirits.

Anyway, once you do down his route, Paschalia is very clearly distraught and displeased when the King decrees CIRCUS to go on another tour. It becomes clear (like water) that he’s hiding something and it’s tied with him wanting to find a water magic teacher and his hourglass. It’s almost like he was on a timer and this new news is lowkey stressing him out. At first, everything seemed fine. We even get to have some scenes with Prince Colivus and Paschalia as they turned out to be surprisingly similar (well, other than Colivus being cuter and childish). However, an accident during Colivus’ first performance causes a domino effect that causes all of Paschalia’s secrets to be unveiled. We even see his pessimistic side of him which stressed both Tifalia and me out. I was expecting the angst, but I was not expecting what his secret actually was and the final act of the route. I really wanted to smack Paschalia’s sense back into him, but I would be lying if I wasn’t at the edge of my seat, found them so cute when they finally got together and Paschalia finally opened up.

Zafora is CIRCUS’ designated clown, which he doesn’t like being, and he works as an information broker. Lucky for him, his clown role is mainly just the outfit he has to wear during performances. Zafora is pretty cold, distant, and often throws insults around. He even has his own favorite punching bag in the form of Vilio, but don’t worry Vilio shakes it off and banters back. As Tifalia is around him more, she learns that he’s not entirely like that and you can pick up on some of his subtleties where you can tell he doesn’t entirely mean what he says and even catch him being nice in his own way. Definitely once of those friends that you tell people “je’s not that mean once you get to know him”. He’s also a bit of a tsundere, which comes apparent during a particular cute scene that happens at the end of the Common Route.

By the time you get to his route, it’s not a mystery on what the overarching plot would be. After all, we learn that he’s from Cultura and he was going to use his wish to get the current Sentinel out of power. We do get some downtime when Colivus joins CIRCUS and he even gets some more scenes (partly due to him playing an important part in this route). We get to see Colivus interact with commoners more and everyone try to act like he’s a normal kid so it’s not awkward. We also get more characterization for Colivus as we see him nervous and lacking confidence as he tries to find what he could do for his performance. Of course, he lands on doing something with Zafora and Zafora actually does help despite being busy with the Cultura Sentinel stuff. The performance goes without a hitch, however the main conflicts starts to rear its head.

The Sentinel refused to step down and locks Cultura’s underground labyrinth. Not only do you learn that the citizens are agitated due to not being able to do their jobs, but the Sentinel can hurt the citizens anytime he wants in a couple ways. So it basically becomes a race to craft the one thing that can bring the Sentinel down before he gets bored enough to attack. Tifalia does end up being pretty useless here though, as she can’t do much other than help with the chores and be there as support (which I feel Zafora was trying to say that being supportive is just as helpful, but you know tsundere).

Zafora’s route turned out to be my least favorite route, but I still think it was good. This was more political drama rather than romance. This route does have great action scenes and a good conclusion to the conflict, but I was honestly waiting for the romance to come in. Even if it meant Tifalia gets rejected either because she confesses it at the worst time or Zafora doesn’t pick up on it (as Tifalia does pick up his way of saying stuff in a roundabout way like Zafora does). I also think that if there was any route to have Tifalia be kidnapped for the drama, it should have been this one. Not to mention I’m so upset at what Zafora does to Tifalia in the time between the ending and the epilogue. I will say, though, that I absolutely loved it when Tifalia channeled her inner Zafora to Zafora and they do have some cute scenes that did show they would make for a good power couple.

Next up was Ion who serves as CIRCUS’ protection and acrobat, though he’s less of an acrobat and more of a martial artist performer. Him and Tifalia doesn’t get off to a good start with Tifalia getting scared after one look at his face and Ion voicing his disapproval of her joining to her face at least twice. At least he doesn’t hold any grudges against her as Tifalia does get to know Ion and bond with him without any hurdles. You start out knowing that he’s strong and is proficient at fighting as he’s tasked with keeping everyone safe, but you learn that he’s surprisingly an amazing cook, gentle, doesn’t hesitate in helping people, a bit stubborn, and he’s protective of those close to him. Basically, he has a tough exterior, but a soft interior. We do get to see why as his past in Ferus directly ties to why he has a tough exterior. Though, I think it was a bad choice to only hint towards Ion’s past in his route branches as it’s not a mystery unless you do his route first.

Once you get into his route, we get a hint of drama before we get some calm with Colivus’ scenes. We get to see Colivus be shyer here as well as more of him warming up to everyone more than we see him trying to find out what he wants to do for his performance. Colivus also takes a quick liking to Tifalia and ends up bonding with Ion as they both shared the thought that they couldn’t possibly entertain people. Ion encourages Colivus with him being able to break out of that thinking and hey, Colivus even got to perform his act first and solo at that! However, the mood is pretty quickly soured as the overarching plot arrives and we get to learn more about his past and about Ferus’ missing core item.

This route has so much drama and I love it. There’s a twist where you think a certain other villain being involve, but then we get another twist. And then, when you’re still reeling from that second twist, there’s another third twist. I was absolutely shocked with this triple twist and you should see my notes when I got to it. Also we got some great action scenes that you can’t help but worry for the characters despite knowing they’ll be fine.

Ion’s route exceeded my expectations. Considering how Zafora’s route ended up being, I was almost expecting Ion’s to be similar and it wasn’t. It balanced the overarching plot and the budding romance between him and Tifalia really well, while also giving Tifalia a bit more to do and more drama. Gotta love the drama here. Not to mention both endings surprised me, especially the Normal Ending as it’s the closest thing this game has to a bad ending. I also really liked the build up of Ion developing feelings for Tifalia as we see him go from barely being fine with Tifalia hanging around him to saying that he cares for her. If you said I would love Ion before I started playing Radiant Tale, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Radie is the cute fluffy fey beast mascot and he’s the resident LI that already has a long history with our protagonist. Well, except he’s not just a best friend as he’s considered a part of her family. Radie has been with Tifalia since her parents died and he has helped her during that tough time in her life. He’s overprotective and supportive towards Tifalia and he sees himself as a parental figure. At first, it seemed his route would focus on why he’s been keeping the fact that he can transform into his human form a secret, but it’s actually revealed early on. I really liked this as it did let us see Tifalia’s reaction and her getting used to his handsome human form. When you’re not going for him it seems like she got over it quickly, but when you are it’s focused more on her getting used to it. Also I just can’t with the sweet look he has when he looks at Tifalia.

Once we go down his route, we get to hear more about Radie’s past both before he came into Tifalia’s family’s life and after. His past is the whole crux of his route’s plot and the drama. Tifalia also ends up confessing her feelings right at the start and…you can probably guess that it didn’t go too well.

Oh and remember how the first town CIRCUS visits (Calida) doesn’t get a performance based on its founding and their great spirit? Well, this is where we get it! Colivus doesn’t play much of an importance here, but we do see a focus on him working on his performance more than the bonding with the others. Radie even helps Colivus out and Colivus gets a solo performance as the last act where he showcases a part of Calida’s history.

I don’t want to spoil this route, but Radie’s route essentially acts as the truth route as we do get answers to some questions that popped up at the beginning of the game. I really liked Radie’s route. It was a great choice having Radie reveal his human form early on as it did give Tifalia time to get used to it, have some cute scenes, and develop feelings. Plus it was funny to see Radie be thrown off when Tifalia hints at finding him handsome. I also think it weaved the romance angst with the drama that came from learning more about Radie really well. This route doesn’t have any action scenes, but man does it do well with having you synced with Tifalia’s emotions.

Last, but not least, is Vilio. This is the only locked route and it really killed me that I couldn’t go for him until the very end. I really liked Vilio from the beginning and okay, yes part of it was because he’s handsome, but he’s just a lovable dragon that can easily light up a whole room. You do see hints that he’s hiding something from everyone, but he hides it really well that you might not notice until you get to his route. Even less so if you don’t try to hang out with him as you won’t see how he mysteriously disappears.

Once you get all the happy endings with the other four LIs, you’ll be able to select Vilio’s route when you start a new game. This is due to his route going through the Common Route again and he has his own prologue where we briefly see the dragon island Passio and how Vilio was able to join CIRCUS. This time around, the Common Route puts a focus on Vilio as we get a lot of switching to his perspective and more scenes with the both of them as Tifalia manages to catch him before he would have normally disappear. Unluckily for Vilio, Tifalia learns his secret relatively early on and oh man the drama and angst that stems from it (80% from his secret, 20% them developing feelings for each other).

Don’t worry, Colivus does still join CIRCUS for another tour. We get to see how he was when they were leaving Artheir and how nervous he was. He does get reassured once he hears that Tifalia was just like him when she first left and his performance ends up being with, you guessed it, Vilio. His performance is also about a part of Escholtia’s history. Colivus plays a part in the overarching plot, but more of a supportive role to Tifalia.

I loved this route and it was a great ending to the game. I even consider this as Radiant Tale’s true route (especially since Vilio talks about his parents’ fated meeting and it awfully sounded similar to how Vilio and Tifalia met). Having this route go through the Common Route again did feel repetitive, I definitely tried “Skip Read” hoping it would work, but I did feel it was worth it by the end. At least it does give you a quick rundown for some of the more lengthy parts. Vilio’s route for sure needed 10 chapters to simmer and the scenes with him were such a delight. This route’s Normal End is also one that I’d call a bad ending, as it’s a very melancholy situation. I also did wish that we got more of an epilogue for at least the Happy End though.

Radiant Tale plays wonderfully on the Switch and is localized well done for the most part. The music is also well done, fitting whatever scene is happening, and the artworks are all lovely. I couldn’t help myself from lingering on CGs before continuing through the story and I can’t tell you how many times I zoomed in on the character portraits. Mainly on their eyes, though that was a double edged sword with me noticing how the pupils look weird when you’re looking at the flipped version of the portraits. The main characters and side characters’ portraits are done by different artists, but I didn’t find it too obvious. You’ll probably still notice it, especially when you look at how the eyes are drawn, but it won’t take you out of the scene.

I also did like the nice touch of the map on the main menu having a Day and Night version so it could match your Switch’s clock. Almost makes up for how long it takes to actually get into the game when you launch it.

There are some other cons Radiant Tale has. Aside from being disappointed that it didn’t stick with circus performances and it taking too long between launching the game and loading your save, there are some mistakes within the localization. I did notice a couple sentences either being weirdly worded, missing a word, or just using the wrong version of a word. There are some scenes where the text is hard to read due to a combination of not having any sort of dialogue background, text being white with a thin black outline, and being over a CG that it would be hard to see white text over it. Also it was a crime to not have more CGs with Tifalia in her CIRCUS costume. Her costume is so cute and there’s only two CGs with her wearing it.

Also I wished Liyah got his own route. Not going to lie, he ended up growing on me with how much he seemed to like Tifalia and how he didn’t mind helping her out despite being turned down…a lot. He even gets some cute scenes with Tifalia. I think it would have been interesting to see how this relationship would have ended up, the reactions the others could have had, and the conflict that could have popped up. Like the conflict could have been tied to Tifalia’s family owning a local inn that she doesn’t want to stop working at and Liyah basically owning an inn chain.


I was originally hesitant in picking up Radiant Tale. I loved the artwork, the look of all of the main characters, and the premise, but writing style is a huge aspect for me when considering a visual novel. Since there were no screenshots with a line of dialogue, I pretty much debated with myself before deciding I’d just jump right in and hope. Luckily, I had nothing to worry about and I didn’t miss being able to read this delightful visual novel. If Chloris was real I surely would have bloomed a lot of them while reading Radiant Tale. I really liked the lighthearted nature of Radiant Tale, how it never went into boring territory and that it was able to have some great action scenes, I liked the worldbuilding, and I loved the story and the LIs.

While it has some drawbacks, Radiant Tale is definitely worth picking up for anyone who loves otome visual novels. Especially so for those that like, or want a, lighthearted stories.


♡ ♡ ♡ A witch that goes for anything that peaks her interest no matter the genre. Currently obsessed with the Persona series and trying to make a dent in my backlog. ♡ ♡ ♡

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *