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This Magical Girl Video Game Is the Most Fabulous Thing You'll Play

This Magical Girl Video Game Is the Most Fabulous Thing You'll Play

This Magical Girl Video Game Is the Most Fabulous Thing You'll Play

Game developer Pyonkotchi talks to PRIDE about magical girls, queerness, & the demo for Magical Warrior Diamond Heart.


Magical girl anime like Sailor Moon have inspired countless other media franchises, like the comic book novel magnifiqueNOIR and the animated series Steven Universe. Now, game developer Pyonkotchi has developed a demo for a video game inspired by the magical girl visual novel known as Magical Warrior Diamond Heart—and it's completely fabulous!

After playing some of the demo, we spoke to Pyonkotchi about all things magical girl and their plans for a full version of the game in the future!

PRIDE: Based on the game's premise and character designs, the game clearly has been influenced by magical girl anime. What are your favorite magical girl anime series and how have they impacted the creation of the game?

Pyonkotchi: My favorite magical girl series is definitely Precure. At the time I created MWDH, Smile Precure was just finishing airing and DokiDoki Precure was on its way in. If you watch either season you could probably see what tropes inspired me when I started writing the story! I’m also a massive fan of the character designers for both seasons and their style has really blatantly inspired my own!

In years since the original Sailor Moon anime aired, there has been magical girl media like the animated series Steven Universe and the webcomic Agents of the Realm. Why did you decide to make a magical girl visual novel game?

I always liked the visual novel/dating sim types of games, and making a visual novel appealed to me because I could tell a story without it being super wordy like a novel, but not image heavy like a comic. And I loved otome/dating sim games because of all the endings and all of the romances you could explore! It was pretty much perfect for a hopeless romantic like me!

While playing the first four chapters of the game demo, I couldn't help but be charmed by the inclusive cast of characters. There are seven different romance options and the characters have unique personalities. How can the choices the player makes impact the outcome of the storyline as well the character relationships?

The player’s choices will impact whether or not Valerie ever defeats the Nightmare Agency at all and the characters she is close to will impact how she does it.

You can also choose to make Val a massive jerk to all of her friends pretty early on in the story which I don't recommend if you want her to survive past the common route! Valerie's friendship with the characters is the single most important thing in the story. The Crystal Warriors powers run off of the power of love and friendship after all. Even outside of Crystal Warrior business, how you interact with certain characters can impact how other characters feel about you. Choosing to be cruel to Ethan will drop Sophie’s affection, for example.

One of the most unique aspects of the game is how it makes magical girls accessible to trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming players. What impact do you hope the game has on these players and other queer gamers?

Magical girls generally are very gender conforming. Like despite the girl power message and the strong female heroines, there's still a strong emphasis on being girly and feminine in a specific way. It's the same with the genre’s big brother series like Kamen Rider or Super Sentai. They're all glorified toy commercials, so at the end of the day it's like, 'Okay we have to sell the magical girls in the pink aisle and the henshin heroes in the blue aisle' you know? Magical boys don't really exist outside of parody either.

At first, it was just Valerie, Sophie, and Clover, but at some point I added Alex and Liam to the team. I wanted to add magical boys but I wanted it to be totally natural, no parody, and I still wanted them to match the girls so I gave them pretty feminine costumes compared to most male heroes.

I remember at the time my now-datefriend was really happy about the inclusion of Zacharie. There aren't many feminine, non-binary characters and the ones there are lean more toward the masculine side. I love seeing how excited people get about characters like them. All I want is for people to be happy after reading the story.

If the game receives enough support and funding, what additional features do you plan to add to the full version of the game?

One thing people keep asking me is if Opal or Onyx will be romanceable at any point. If the game gets enough funding that'll definitely be a stretch goal. As far as gameplay goes, I have no idea at this point. I considered some mini games, but I’m not sure what kind would fit the game! Maybe a battle system of some sort, but I'd have to talk to my coder about that and see if something like that is doable! Otherwise any battle gameplay will be in an RPG spinoff. Additional funding will definitely be going toward future games in the MWDH universe.

Download the Magical Warrior Diamond Heart game demo here, and support the developer via Patreon, Ko-fi, & Paypal!

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Latonya Pennington

Latonya Pennington is a non-binary queer freelance writer. Their writing can be found in places like Wear Your Voice magazine, EFNIKS, and Black Girl Dangerous.

Latonya Pennington is a non-binary queer freelance writer. Their writing can be found in places like Wear Your Voice magazine, EFNIKS, and Black Girl Dangerous.