Decided to write an introduction, some thoughts, and provide resources on the latest game that has consumed my life, and the lives of many others.
I’m just going to start by saying I love this game SO MUCH. It’s unique, clever, and the humor of the characters is so on point for me. I’m an internet child and so hearing their pop culture references, their slang, and the way they express themselves through their typing was just so funny and familiar. The overarching story of Mystic Messenger probably isn’t going to blow your mind but in my opinion its execution is where Cheritz deserves all the kudos. Even when you see tropes coming at you miles away, the characters and their stories pull you in and it’s just so much fun to chat with them and experience the story.
I felt like each of the characters had relatable struggles and they all learn a valuable life lesson, which I’m sure you could take away from this game. On another note, they’re all so positive and supportive which is a nice thing to experience from time to time (when the conflict is external rather than internal). Seriously, Mystic Messenger is just a great game that will hopefully make you laugh, cry, and love.
Onto some game things now. *WARNING* There are some minor chat spoilers below.
An unknown person requests your help in returning a phone that they picked up; all they have is an address. You, being the
gullible good Samaritan that you are, head to the apartment to leave a note but instead end up with a messenger app downloaded onto your phone. This app leads you into the chat room of a fundraising organization, known as the RFA, and there you meet the cast of Mystic Messenger. You are then recruited (read: forced) to join and help them invite guests to the 3rd party that the RFA is holding, and while doing that you go through a journey, potentially uncovering the secrets of the organization, and helping the cast overcome hurdles in their life.
“…” indeed. Great first impressions everyone.
First thing to know is that the game is free and runs in real time, meaning that chat rooms open up at scheduled times for you to join. If you miss these chats then the characters will just talk amongst themselves or to themselves. If you miss too many chats though (especially in the prologue) you’ll head to a bad end. Chats stay open until the next scheduled chat opens, and that’s when the old one closes and becomes a missed chat.
- Schedule + Email Chart (© sabalet)
Personally, I enjoyed playing it in real time since I felt like Cheritz did the pacing pretty well. Of course, if you have a busy schedule or can’t access your phone at all hours then this becomes a problem. But no worries, let me move onto the two options available to you!
Hourglasses. Limited resources that you can use to do various things in the game (which will be explained later). Right now, what you need to know is that you can use 5 HGs (hourglasses) to access missed chats or 30 HGs to 50 HGs (depending on if you’re in a character’s route iirc) to unlock 24 hours.
5 HGs to access missed chats means you just get to make choices as if you were there. I believe the game still knows you’ve missed scripted calls though (I’ve never missed any scripted calls so I’m unsure about this).
If you unlock 24 hours I believe the game treats you as if you were at the time the chat is happening – ignoring your current time – and so scheduled calls from the characters will still happen and you can call the character with them thinking it’s the afternoon when it might actually be night for you.
WARNING: when you unlock 24 hours the game continues to run and so you will have to marathon all the chats in the 24 hours or else you’ll start to miss the next day’s chats, because the game is thinking you’ve essentially fast-forwarded and skipped a day.
Saves. If you save the game then you can always load on a day when you have the time and access to your phone to participate in chats. Explaining this might be confusing but please try to bear with me. So, when you save, the game makes a note of the time. Now, when you load, the game compares your current time to your saved time. Fortunately, the game will display a window letting you know what will happen if you load.
If you’re loading BEFORE your saved time the game will think you’re on the next day (so if you load you’ll be bombarded by tons of missed chats and calls; useful if you know what you’re doing to get the bad ends).
If you’re loading AFTER your saved time, around 10 minutes, the game will think you’re on the same day (and then you can just continue on normally).
Like I mentioned above, the game is free and it IS possible to play without spending anything but it might take awhile. As you chat with the characters in the game you are sometimes awarded with hearts or hourglasses. 100 hearts can be traded for 1 HG. Hourglasses can also be purchased in-game.
The characters are split into “Casual” and “Deep” (only unlocked with 80 HGs). Deep characters touch more on the overarching story of the game (though there’s some debate on how much Jumin’s route reveals compared to Yoosung). Seven is definitely the poster boy and whose route reveals everything though. Each character has an after story that can be unlocked with 20 HGs. But, once you complete Seven’s route, the secret/extra routes are open to be unlocked for 140 HGs.
There are a lot of guides out there on maximizing your HGs and optimizing your saves/schedule, etc., so I won’t go into those details. I’ll just provide a link to some handy resources and say that the bad ends before you get on a character route are usually due to missed chats, not enough hearts with the characters, or blatant bad choices. Each character has 3 Bad Ends, 2 Relationship Bad Ends (missing all the chats), a Normal End, and a Good End; the only difference between a Normal End and Good End are the number of guests that you invite to the party.
Also, when you’re on a character route, the hearts don’t really mean anything anymore. Some characters gain hearts even though you say ridiculous things and so what leads you to the Bad Ends are the bad choices you make. IMO, you don’t need a choice guide for Mystic Messenger since the choices that’ll lead you to the bad ends are pretty obvious. As long as you’re a positive, compassionate, supportive, and sensible person then you’ll get to the good/normal ends without a problem (and that’s a nice message coming from the game)! Also, Cheritz made the game lenient (probably because playing it real time means sinking 11 days of your life into this) and so long as the majority of your choices are sensible then you can feel free to pick the odd choice that suits your fancy.
By the way, the CG guide below is amazing and shows that there are some CGs which you can only get by missing certain chats.
OKAY. ARE YOU READY NOW FOR THE BIGGEST PART OF THE GAME (totally not biased here). PHONE CALLS. You can phone the characters for 5 HGs unless you buy their unlimited calling cards. I can’t decide for you what your money is worth but I think it’s worthwhile to talk about this some more. I, personally, recommend unlimited calling cards because I feel like there is a lot of content to be had just by calling the characters on their route and in other routes.
Most of the content is additional fluff (which is fantastic by the way and the voice actors did an amazing job) but IMO there is one part in Seven’s route where one of his calls IS NOT SCRIPTED but it is so so so important to his character development and just the route progression in general. Heck, there was a Yoosung call in Seven’s route too that also added so much to the story but wasn’t a scripted one either.
Oh, when I talk about scripted calls I mean calls that happen after a chat room. They will always pop immediately after a chat room; these are all incoming calls. Outgoing calls are the ones where you have to phone the characters yourself and are not scripted (since it depends on you calling them). Cheritz has mentioned that the guys have a “schedule” but I find that it’s the contents of the chat room that triggers whether or not the characters will have new phone content (especially since their schedules change depending on what’s going on in the plot). Basically, in the time between two chats the characters may or may not have new phone content that may disappear when you participate in the next scheduled chat without calling them. So, if you have unlimited calling cards, I suggest calling them after every chat because you’re bound to get someone.
Zen gives a better introduction to the characters than I ever could LOL. Except he forgot about Jaehee (boo!) but she falls into the same category that he does – working way too hard to even contemplate a dating life. That’s what we’re here for though, amiright? ♪(´ε` )
TOO. PURE. Meet the college student and #2 hero of the LOLOL world, Yoosung!! Clap clap clap! Bless this innocent, sweet, and genuine boy. He starts off lost in life due to certain events but he grows so much throughout the game and the way he does his best to become a man for you is adorable. If Zen’s route was about working hard for your dreams and passions and keeping to your principles, then Yoosung’s story is about growth into adulthood, moving on, and finding a meaning to your life. A core theme of Mystic Messenger is how mutual support and unconditional love can change someone and it’s exemplified here in Yoosung’s route, which is such a lovely message. Also, his route DOES give a lot of answers to the secrets behind RFA so doing his route linked with Seven is a pretty good idea (or makes things more painful LOL).
BEST. GIRL. Meet the poor overworked assistant to Jumin! Funnily, the rest of the characters agree that she’s the most reliable out of them all. Anyway, she’s kinda been dragged into the RFA and has to deal with all these eccentric weirdos. No worries though, she’s a black belt in
shutdowns judo and knows how to handle the guys. Also, she’s a huge fan of Zen. Her route was made to be more of a sisterly bond than a romantic one (aw, Cheritz) but it’s really supportive. WARNING: HER ROUTE IS TOO REAL IF YOU’RE CURRENTLY WORKING IN AN OFFICE THOUGH. Her route brings up hard questions like weighing your happiness versus stability, what society wants and expects from you and what you want, etc. It’s… unexpectedly heavy at times. The sheer support for Jaehee (and in extension you) in this route is amazing though. I just have to mention again how supportive and positive the game, Mystic Messenger, is.
BEST. BOYFRIEND. Meet the resident narcissist and musical actor in the RFA! So handsome even mirrors get jealous, ooh! In Mystic Messenger’s concept book Cheritz has said that Zen was designed to be a realistic boyfriend and that is 1000% true. He talks a lot about his looks but he has great depth and is actually very wise about relationships between people. He is legit the family mom of the RFA and always concerned about you, even in other routes. You won’t be able to escape his calls about how men are wolves LOL. (I write way too much about these characters though and this is something I wrote on Day 6 of his route about his character re: narcissism and his passion as a starving artist).
SO. DAMN. KINKY.
DADDY. Meet MISTA TRUST FUND KID and the director of the company C&R, Jumin!! Psst, he’s loaded guys! His concept was interesting because normally I don’t go for kuuderes but IMO he has some of the best punchlines in the game. He’s ruled by logic but once you get under his skin… he’s really really really passionate. HANDS DOWN THE WORDSMITH OF THE GROUP. Don’t laugh when you hear Jaehee talking about Jumin coaxing women to sign deals with his company, because I have seen the light and am a believer now. Jaehee once said “Mr. Han is dangerous because he has the resources to do whatever he wants” in his character route and YEP that’s pretty much it. But honestly Jumin acts as the pillar of support and calmness in the group and it’s so touching when he shows his worries for the members and acts to protect them. (You can’t shut me up about these characters. I wrote a blurb on one of his scenes re: his childhood friends. I also wrote this piece about me ultimately crumbling for him over Zen, oops).
ABSOLUTE. SUNSHINE. CHILD. DESERVES. UNCONDITIONAL. LOVE. Look, we may all have our personal preferences and biases when it comes to the cast of Mystic Messenger but I don’t think I’ve seen ANYONE dislike this boy AND DAMN STRAIGHT NO ONE DOES. He deserves everything in this world and I. love. him. so much. He is always ready to make you laugh with his jokes and eccentricities (and I headcanon that he plays an unspoken game to be the first to make you laugh), and acts like a big troll. BUT once you get onto his route it is definitely a roller coaster of feelings (which he actually says he will gift you the joy of riding at one point LOL). I cannot stress how important it is to call this boy often in his route because his voice actor is a gift from the heavens and whenever Seven laughs genuinely angels are given wings, poverty is erased, etc etc.
For the following three characters I can’t say much since everything about them is hidden in the secret endings after finishing Seven but, wow, is it ever a wild ride.
V (Secret): SADNESS. He’s the leader of the RFA, along with Rika, and is the one to decide on things for the group. V is really secretive and you barely see him throughout the game, until the secret endings, but he is probably one of the most poetic and devoted characters in this game (sorry Jumin) and I couldn’t help but feel sad and sorry for him. But you do get a sense of how much he treasures everyone in the RFA and he is protective of them.
Rika (Secret): Rika is… let’s just say I have extremely complicated feelings for her. You get to learn bits and pieces about her through the perspectives of the other characters in their routes but the bulk of it comes from the secret endings.
Unknown (Secret): EXTREME. SADNESS. Who is unknown? Well, the very first person that messages you in the game! And that’s all I can say. Yep, the game will elaborate on this character more so please carry on to the revelation of everything in the secret endings.
(A HUGE POST I wrote about V and Rika, and some random thoughts, needless to say it has spoilers so watch out!)