Quick note to say that I wrote this towards the end of the first lockdown in England, so a few things may be off. The main thing I did add an editors note for but yeah. Enjoy!:
Hello, Gamers! How are you doing? I am back and ready for action again after my very long, well-needed break. So, what have I been up to? Playing Persona? Playing a different game for once? Ha. Nah. Sorry to disappoint. Okay, that’s not completely true. I’ve recently got into Fifa (don’t ask, I know, it’s not like me to like games like that but now my Uncle is taking me to a football match if our team gets into the premier league so there’s that!). But, apart from that, I’ve honestly been trying to recover from University and also I really needed to clean my house. I’ve been trying to focus on my mental health and I’ve started therapy too! So, what has actually kept me so busy? Mystic Messenger.
Okay, before you stop reading, just hear me out, okay? Mystic Messenger is so much more than what I ever thought it was. Mystic Messenger is unlike any game that I’ve ever played. Yes, it is a mobile game. But it has the detailed plot of an actual game. The thing with Mystic Messenger is that it is only a mobile game because it has to be a mobile game. The plot and the depth to the characters are actually enough to make it a videogame-like the ones on consoles; however the format of the game and the layout make it so that it just makes more sense for it to be on the phone. Why would you want a game the is based on phone calls, emails and texts on a console? The short answer is you wouldn’t, because it just wouldn’t make sense. The layout of Mystic Messenger makes it unique-it’s something that isn’t in normal videogames. But you don’t get games like Mystic Masters on phones usually. Mystic Messenger is so detailed just constantly leaves you wanting more. It’s not just the traditional mobile game that you can do whatever you want with and just leave it, you play when the game wants you to try, you play when the game intends for you to play.
Now that I’ve got my little ‘Mystic Messenger is unique and shouldn’t be mocked for being a mobile game’ rant out of the way, I can move on and explain how it’s helped me through lockdown and with my mental illnesses in general. Disclaimer: everyone is different. Just because it helped me so much does not mean that it will help you as much. Actually, it might hinder you for reasons I will be mentioning later. But my advice would be to read my post, decide for yourself, maybe even download it and give it a little go.
Slight spoilers ahead.
So, I first downloaded Mystic Messenger the night before my 17th Birthday (I remember because I had a sleepover with my old best friend) and it actually took a really, really long time to install. It still does, but I promise it’s worth the wait. The first time I played it, I basically went into it completely blind. I knew very little about the characters and the plot. I eventually got Yoosung’s route… only to be told by my friend that I would get the bad ending. That was because, in my efforts to make Yoosung like me, I compared myself to Rika. Boom. So, before I even got the ending, I stopped playing. It made me frustrated that I wasn’t answering the emails correctly and my phone wasn’t getting all the notifications (it was broken but also the game was new so I believe it was a combination of both my phone and the game not being right), I was frustrated. I deleted it after I got into a bad relationship because he didn’t want me playing games like that. But then after my A-Levels were all done, and when I was with my current partner, I decided to give it another go… it didn’t work out again. So, why did I even bother trying again now that I am 20 years old, am engaged, have a blog and trying to start a crochet business, and have a house to clean? Lockdown.
Now, we’ve all made some stupid decisions trying lockdown. Some people cut their hair, some people dye their hair, some people spend a lot of time on Tik Tok, some people play Persona 5 Royal until they suddenly don’t want to even look at the Playstation for weeks on end because the ending was off and you spent not only £80 on a game that you admittedly loved but also over 200 hours because it was great but the ending did not give justice to your favourite character… some people download Mystic Messenger.
I wasn’t allowed to touch my hair.
But I wanted to give it one last go. It’s for 11 days. How hard can it be? I had just finished my second year of university, I didn’t want to look at the Playstation, never mind play it. I had nothing better to do. So I downloaded it… but then I remembered. I remembered all the frustrations that came with answering emails wrong and missing chatrooms. I couldn’t put myself through that after I finished Persona 5 Royal. I didn’t hate myself that much, to willingly put myself through all of that pain. So I looked up guides and strategies and suddenly I’ve got all the good endings to all routes apart from Ray’s and V’s because I don’t have enough hourglasses yet.
My favourite route was Jaehee’s. I know, unpopular opinion. At first, I was upset that you couldn’t romance Jaehee. But as time progressed, it became more and more apparent that Jaehee didn’t need a romantic partner. She needed a friend. And damn how I wished she was real so that I could be that friend. Jaehee’s route was the calmest, the nicest. It felt right. The other routes tend to rush some kind of relationship, which is why – as Jaehee was the last route I did – it felt like a nice change, not having that rush of someone suddenly being in love with MC. I enjoyed the pacing of Jaehee’s route much more than the other routes and it was just so much better. Like, Jaehee is clearly God tier level. I honestly feel like her route is kind of underappreciated because she’s not one of the guys and you can’t romance her, but honestly, it is so good. I changed my opinion on Zen throughout her route. I started off liking him because… it’s Zen. Even though all he talks about is him, he’s pretty cool. He’s protective and he almost instantly trusts MC. However, in Jaehee’s route, I found myself getting very frustrated with him until the last day or so. It’s like he never thought of Jaehee as a person before her route, and even though she states openly that she is a fan of his… he is still shocked and cannot seem to comprehend it. It’s like he just doesn’t pay attention. Not only that but when Jaehee comes over to look after him, he is so unappreciative. It was clear that he did not want her there. He made it so clear and I honestly felt so sorry for her. I love Jumin (as I will be mentioning later) and I went into Jaehee’s route expecting to come out disliking him or at least not liking him as much as I do. However, that didn’t happen. The only character that I got annoyed at in Jaehee’s route was Zen because he had no respect for her. I know it changes as the route progresses and I do like to think that after the route ends, they become closer and he continues to respect her and acknowledge her existence but it just really annoyed me throughout most of the route. Jumin, I felt, was really not much different. A little more… unprofessionally, maybe, but not much. I do want to point out as well, something happened on the tenth night- I got a phone call from Seven. It was a weird one. I think it was Jaehee’s route that the characters seemed a little more… self-aware. It was just weird. It made me laugh but then I was like “wait do they know I’m just going to reset it and they won’t be happy forever?” and that made me very sad. But the phone call with Seven was like… I mean, I had to pause it to show Josh because I was so shocked, and he hates this game and even he seemed impressed. I’ll include some pictures so that you know what I mean.
My favourite romance route was Jumin because I recognise the pain he’s in, and how he is struggling with his emotions. I know a bunch of people say that he’s abusive, but he’s not. Point blank, as someone who has been abused several times and who’s done so much work on recognising abusive behaviours, this isn’t it. Jumin’s behaviour is undoubtedly that of someone who needs help. MC, of course, is that immediate help and there is the potential of the situation becoming abusive if Jumin does not get some kind of therapy but his behaviour at the start is just someone trying to come to terms with the confusion of his emotions. Honestly, I don’t think any of the relationships in this game are completely healthy. Jumin clearly needs therapy and MC can help him through that. Jumin, I think, is the most consistent in each route. I really like how he actually lets Jaehee have some time off. I like to think that he does that like once a year from now. Jumin is first and foremost a businessman, but because of that, the rest of the RFA has seemed to forget that he is a human. I think as time went on during MC’s stay in the apartment, he was more and more reasonable. He just needs help. I cannot repeat that enough. I have a lot of passionate feelings about Jumin Han, mainly because my partner struggles to show emotion in the same way so I kind of relate the two but yeah. And don’t get me started on Jumin’s cat!
Now, I have done all the routes but I’m not going to go into detail with all of them. I love this game. I cannot stress how great it is for someone who just likes story more than anything else. I’m so excited to get enough hourglasses to do another story. ((UPDATE: Hi, editing Eleanor here! Just wanted to let you know that I have now played another ending, but I’ve only managed to do Ray’s route! It triggered me quite a bit and then uni got crazy again so I haven’t had the chance to do V’s route yet… hopefully will get back into it over the winter break and be able to update you guys!)) What is really interesting, however, is seeing the difference between all the endings! How certain things can trigger certain endings. It reminds me of the Life Is Strange series.
Have you played Mystic Messenger? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! I’m planning on doing a Dear Diary for Mystic Messenger after I’ve written up all of my Joker Persona 5 Royal Dear Diary post… that might take a while, though.
Until next time, happy gaming! 😊