Fault milestone one is the first game in the fault series and a Visual Novel where we follow the adventures of a princess called Selphine and her guard Ritona on their way back home. Upon starting the game we are immediately thrown into a dangerous situation where Selphine’s castle has been overthrown and the assailants are searching as to where she is hiding. One thing leads to the next and they manage to make a hasty escape to a far off land. It is a slightly overwhelming and a bizarre introduction to this unique world as characters are bound to go into a long and usually out of place inner monologue about everything. Seeing a character blather on to herself about something that should be basic to her while in a life or death situation definitely seems out of place and since this does feature an in-game encyclopedia detailing the world and lore, a simple optional link to whatever they’re referring to would have greatly helped with the flow.
The previous event of escaping and arriving on a foreign land is pretty much all that happens within the course of this game. It is nothing but world building and delving into the backgrounds of the characters you meet. The questions on the store page like “Who were the assaulters?” and “What was their goal?” and every other question except where they have landed will not be even remotely answered in this game. Fault milestone one really reminds me of Dragonball Z in that they take forever to do anything as they keep delving into character’s backgrounds as the writers keep padding it out until they write the next section of the story. We accomplish nearly nothing and as soon as the story starts to actually go places again it is over on a complete cliffhanger. I’m making this game sound completely terrible which I assure you it is not, just do not go into this expecting an adventure. All it really is an introduction with no plot advancement after the beginning whose goal is to set up the world, lore and characters for the player.
We will mostly be learning about the side characters and learn very little about the main characters Selphine and Ritona. Luckily the side characters are all very interesting and memorable, though I really doubt the importance of knowing everything about them since they were children all the way to the present. The world itself is pretty interesting too, featuring both magic and science. Saying anymore would be a spoiler but rest assured this is not your typical fantasy world with anime waifus. In fact it is surprisingly dark and violent at moments so it is a title not to be judged by appearances alone. The art is all really well done and features multiple interesting locations. A rather strange problem with the text is that as if there are multiple lines in one text box the bottom half of the currently scrolling line will be cut out giving a glitchy, really annoying look as you try to read a sentence with the words cut right down the middle. As for the translation to English it is usually spot on with an occasional error or word missing though nothing enough to make a sentence incomprehensible and happens rarely enough to be a minor issue.
There is no voice acting to speak of and all dialogue is done via text. We are given a “decision” rather early into the game which has no effect whatsoever and will never have another decision to make so it is the type of game where you will just be reading, not one with multiple outcomes or dead-ends. I’m not sure if we play as any character or are just an observer though I’m assuming we play as Ritona since her inner monologue and thoughts are the only ones we can see while not in a flashback. Along with the in-game encyclopedia we also have a gallery for all the artwork and a music player to listen to all the tunes in the game which are definitely worth a listen on their own. It’s a shame I can’t really go into what makes fault milestone one good as giving even one spoiler will reduce the surprise of an already lacking game. At the price it is being sold at I would have felt really ripped off personally, especially due to that quite shameless ending but it does feature a demo for those curious which is really nice of the developers to add and is sadly pretty rare these days. At the end of the day even though I felt this first entry into the series lacking in both substance and story development I do desire to play the next entry since the interesting characters & world have all been introduced and the pieces of the story are now in motion.