Over the past few months, many of my fellow yuri fans recommended ebi-hime’s works to me. I recently decided to give Salome’s Kiss a go. When I first learned about the game, I kept wondering about the title’s meaning: who is Salome?
The name Salome comes from the Bible, and means “peaceable; perfect; she that rewards.” Though one can probably guess how that relates to the game’s story, let’s jump right into the synopsis after getting acquainted with the author, ebi-hime.
Ebi-hime is a well-known indie developer of yuri visual novels who has contributed to the community for over a decade. A few of her popular works are Asphyxia, Blackberry Honey, and The Way We All Go.
After learning of a job opportunity in Yorkshire, England, Letitia accepts a governess position with the Mortimer family, and the duty of taming the unruly Clara.
But Letitia’s plan takes an unexpected turn when she discovers that Clara is not a child, but a charming, impetuous woman of eighteen.
Despite her reserved demeanor, Letitia develops intense, unsettling feelings for Clara, prompting her to seek employment elsewhere.
As she becomes accustomed to her new job, Letitia finds herself forming a special connection with her new pupil, Genevieve Langley. Will their relationship become something more, despite their differences in social status?
The main characters
Letitia, a twenty-four-year-old governess, is the game’s protagonist. She is reserved, mature, and adheres firmly to her moral beliefs. She ultimately decides to leave her job to avoid acting upon inappropriate feelings for her pupil. Though she isn’t very confident and has a tendency to be easily influenced, Letitia stands by her opinions and can defend them when necessary. She tries to be objective, but her budding feelings for her newfound charge threaten to interfere.
Clara Mortimer, Letitia’s pupil, isn’t extensively explored within the game’s narrative, but it’s clear that her mental maturity corresponds with her age. Letitia’s fondness for Clara may be related to Clara’s perceived “purity.”
She is the housekeeper of the Langley household. Conservative and dour, she often treats the servants of lower status poorly. She functions as an antagonistic character, but doesn’t necessarily cause conflict in the story.
Genevieve Langley, Letitia’s new charge, is charismatic yet childish. She has an air of mysterious untouchability that piques Letitia’s interest.
Dinah Pruitt is one of the Langleys’ household servants, and has been retained by the family since she was young. She’s much prettier than the average commoner, which does not escape Letitia’s notice.
Visuals and Soundtrack
Art Style and Atmosphere
The art style isn’t one I would normally seek out, but it’s an appropriate choice given the game’s Victorian setting and overall mood. It especially benefits the more detailed H-scenes.
The background music isn’t my favorite, but it suits Salome’s Kiss well. The main menu’s theme, however, is something I won’t forget, because it perfectly captures the game’s emotional turmoil.
Descriptions and Characters
Sometimes, I found the descriptions and narration to be a bit too lengthy for my taste. But at the same time, there was more time spent on conveying Letitia’s complicated feelings. This is something of a trade-off, but it does add depth to the characters and the story.
I initially started playing Salome’s Kiss just for the yuri scenes, expecting a romantic story between two girls. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that, along with what I wanted, the game also has a more depressing plot.
In the end, Salome’s Kiss gives readers more than they might expect. The story, the ways in which the characters’ feelings are depicted, and the music and art come together to make an interesting visual novel.
You can get this visual novel on Steam for $12.99!