Life is the biggest tragedy, but also the biggest comedy.
Well, in today’s review, I’m tackling Salthe!
Salthe is a rather robust tale featuring many twists and turns. It was released in 2020 and developed by the “Smile” imprint “Soiree.” To date, it is their only game. Salthe revolves around the titular heroine and her quest to discover why and how she died.
Salthe was written by Orgel (sometimes written as “Owngoal”) and Nanami 7. The latter of the two also directed the project, while the art was handled by Echizen Aramaki. Shiravune was responsible for the game’s localization.
For the most part, Salthe was a passion project. Despite its smaller budget, it has a lot of heart, which definitely shines through.
The game mainly revolves around Salthe, a princess and actress, in her quest to learn why and how she was killed. When Salthe dies, she goes to a form of limbo. There, she meets a clown (aptly named Kloun).
Kloun informs her that she must re-enact a play portraying the events of her life in order to discover the truth behind how she died.
Salthe‘s primary strength lies in the development of its characters. Watching Salthe struggle to uncover the truth of her demise after being captured is extremely interesting.
Each of the characters is mysterious, and yet all of them work very well with each other. Kloun and Salthe have an odd relationship—one built primarily upon distrust and disgust. However, it also includes some reverence.
Another character featured in the game is the prime minister of Salthe’s kingdom, Garnier. He’s rather stalwart and secretive and proves to be a bit of an obstacle for Salthe.
Rounding out the cast of the game are Salthe’s cheerful, gullible childhood friend Marie, and Jean, the attractive captain of the royal guards. Marie is somebody Salthe can rely upon and trust, while Jean fills the role of love interest.
One of the best parts of Salthe (apart from its characters and writing) is the soundtrack, which was lovingly composed by Niito Mizuki in a medieval style with theatrical undertones.
When combined together, these elements make Salthe a memorable artistic effort.
It is also an eroge! The erotic scenes in question vary in nature, but they’re a good blend between guro and the kind of rape scenes that are more typically seen in eroge. They fit very well into the storyline and add to the dark nature of the story, but Salthe also works as a narrative without the H-scenes.
Overall, Salthe is a rather profound title woven together with the utmost intricacy and vigour. It’s definitely a game I’d recommend.