The Princess is a Waitress.
Princess Holiday ~Korogaru Ringo Tei Sen’ya Ichiya~ is a 2002 game by August. It got an all ages Dreamcast port in 2003 and a PS2 one in 2004, which added voices for the male characters, additional endings for a few heroines, and a new route.
The story takes place in a medieval world. The protagonist, Cliff Cloud, comes back to his hometown of Symphonia Kingdom after 3 years of wandering through the lands as a traveling bard. The very day he arrives in town, he has a chance meeting with a girl who’s pursued by soldiers. He rescues her, and since she’s searching for a place to accommodate for a while, he introduces her to his family and friends at the Korogaru Ringo Tei (= Rolling Apple Pavilion) inn.
That girl, who named herself Leticia Apple, quickly turns out to be the Princess of Symphonia Kingdom, Leticia la mew Symphonia. She slipped out of the castle in order to see the outside world and the lives of common people. After a few discussions with the protagonists, her father, the benevolent King Worsel, allows her to stay and work at Rolling Apple for a few weeks, as a training as the future Queen.
And thus starts the story, as you’ll see the lives of the people of Rolling Apple. As Cliff, will you follow Leticia’s training and form a relationship with her, or will you interact with the other girls? Choose you own adventure, and get to discover their stories, as well as the mysterious background behind Cliff, and the secrets around Symphonia Kingdom![From GameFAQs]
At the end of Leticia’s route (which, by the way, should be played first, since otherwise a reveal that always happens would dilute all drama the route has) a certain reveal cast a doubt on the whole setting, and that doubt is exploited in the “true” route (which unlike the other reviewed August games is not a route that solves everything for everyone, and if anything has a worse result than the alternatives); a SF twist that’s in fact pretty obvious since the very moment you finish Leticia’s route, but which execution (even if it’s not much more than a bit of infodumping) makes for a interesting and a little peculiar story, with a good atmosphere.
And all that may be actually a spoiler; but since is also by far the only remarkable thing this game has going for, it’s worth mentioning. Because besides that there’s just a generic fantasy setting with a bunch of not so interesting heroines. Leticia is cute, and her route has a decent pace and ending, but the rest of the routes range from kind of bad to very bad. The confessions come out of nowhere, the romance and developments are ridiculous, and even though some of the endings are actually interesting (an example of throwing away everything for love), they rely on the characters entering full retard mode, which kind of dilutes their impact; the situation wasn’t dire enough to warrant that conclusion.
And indeed, the PS2 version adds alternative endings for those cases. It also adds new scenes as a replacement for the lost ero, a bunch of additional extras (which even in the original were quite amusing), and a new route, the main attraction. This new route has, more or less, the same problems as the worst routes of the original, and so even though this version has a fair bit of new content the fundamental problems are left as they were, so it’s not really “better”. This really feels like an old game; the routes, and the development of the relationships, have no rhyme or reason.
So there’s one decent route and an interesting/amusing twist. But the final route in which it’s present is also about one hour long, maybe less. And it’s not nearly as brilliant as to warrant sitting through all the other routes (short as they are). It’s not worth for much else than to see how much Sakakibara Taku (the writer) has grown up, by comparing this to the newer August titles.