SNOW BOUND LAND: Ivan’s Route & Concluding Thoughts

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Ivan (CV: Ishida Akira) serves the Snow Queen and having sworn loyalty to her, he only believes in her. He hates superficial statements and thinks that feelings are fragile and unnecessary. His route is unlocked after you finish Aje’s. This continues from the Common Route. (*Ivan’s scenes there have been added.)

The beginning is the same as Kai’s. When the alarm rings, Gerda quickly escapes the room but encounters the guards. She spots Ivan too, and is on her guard. Just then, the prince, Alfred, appears and dismisses the guards, saying that both of them are guests. However, he doesn’t seem to really like Ivan. The princess, Natalie, appears and is surprised to see Ivan here. Gerda finally learns that the masked man’s name is Ivan. Ivan asks them to let Gerda stay in the castle for the night, and to not ask her further questions. While Gerda is taken aback by this, the couple readily agree and she’s led to her room by a maid. The following morning, Gerda goes to find Natalie. Unable to find Ivan, she decides to ask her more about Ivan instead and confirms that he does indeed serve the Snow Queen. Gerda thinks that she may learn more about Kai’s location and the key if she remains here, so she seeks permission to stay for a while longer. She also decides to write a letter to tell Orva and co. about the situation.

That night, Ivan goes to find Gerda having heard that she was seeking him out earlier that day. While Gerda is confused about his actions since it should bear him no merit, Ivan merely remarks that it does aid his goal. He also affirms that he did take Kai away, though strictly speaking that may not be the case either. When he hears about how Gerda wants to take him back and to free everyone of the curse, Ivan suggests giving up since there’s no way she can win over the queen. He doesn’t understand why both she and Kai would go to such extent when the bonds between people are such fragile things. He’s sure she will forget Kai one day if she gives up, just like how it happened to him. Ivan soon grows irritated by her words and approaches her.

When Gerda instinctively takes the bottle out, he pushes her onto the bed instead. He can’t touch the bottle, but can still touch her. It’s just that he can’t immediately take her to the White World since he can’t use his magic. As he tightens his grip over her hand, Ivan commands her to release the bottle. But Gerda doesn’t give in and only glares back, especially when he observes that she’s trembling. When she tells him to release her, Ivan points out that she can force her way out with her current strength. Seeing that she isn’t doing so, he wonders if she doesn’t want to in that case, and asks if it’s alright for him to do worse things to her. If she’s afraid of him then there’s no need to even consider facing the Snow Queen to save Kai. Still, Gerda doesn’t back down and insists on saving Kai. Hearing this, Ivan sighs and releases her. He no longer wants to hear her superficial talk and leaves the room.

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Left alone, Gerda admits that she was scared but more than that, she was regretful that she couldn’t deny his words – that she can’t save anyone. She can’t control her tears. Later at night, she dreams that she’s standing alone in a cold place. At Ivan’s side, he thinks to himself that it’s easy to just talk. He was irritated by her words, as he recalls how it was easy for family to abandon each other. Natalie calls him out of his own thoughts, and invites him to participate in the upcoming ball since he’s here.

The next day, Gerda sends the letter out and Alfred invites her to the ball, which takes place the day after tomorrow. But Gerda is reminded of what she’s here to do, and politely rejects the invitation. Later, she asks around about the key and learns that it is indeed in the castle. She asks Natalie to let her stay till she finds the key, and the princess agrees while hurrying off for her next appointment. As the day goes on, Gerda is surprised to see Kai standing before her in the garden. He apologises to her, and tells her to not look for him anymore. He can no longer return, as he’s now serving the Snow Queen. He persuades her to return home for the queen wants the shard in her the most. Just then, a cold wind blows past and Kai says he has to leave soon. Before doing so, he tells Gerda to keep the bottle with her at all times.

In the greenhouse, Ivan questions why Kai is here. He adds that he can handle things here, and bring Gerda to the Snow Queen. He’s merely waiting for the opportunity in which he can remove the bottle from Gerda. Kai insists that this is going against the promise, but Ivan reminds him of the situation again. He thinks to himself that both Gerda and Kai want to save each other, yet keep missing each other at the same time. Ivan reminds Kai of his own task, which is to handle Orva and co. When Kai is reluctant, Ivan draws out a deal – if Kai doesn’t carry it out, Gerda will be in danger. While he can’t kill Gerda, he can still hurt her to some extent. Hearing this, Kai immediately agrees. And so Ivan tells him not to come to the castle any longer, not until his heart is completely frozen since at the moment, he keeps trying to persuade Gerda to return home.

Meanwhile, Gerda searches for Ivan but bumps into a suspicious-looking man. The man merely mutters that he’s unlucky and disappears. When she finds Ivan, she questions if Kai is really serving the queen now. Ivan confirms this, adding that Kai chose to do so on his own accord. He also advises her not to be so strong-headed just ‘cos she has the bottle. He closes in on her, saying that he can still hurt her in other ways. Just then, Alfred appears and tells Ivan that Natalie is looking for him. When Ivan leaves, Alfred asks if Gerda is okay and reveals that his previous words were actually a lie. That night, Gerda has the same dream. This time, someone takes her hand. She doesn’t know who it is, but is relieved that there’s someone else besides her. When she wakes up, she finds a card with a small, pressed flower on it under her pillow. Later, she asks Natalie about it who says that she bought it from a travelling merchant. Apparently it can allow you to see special dreams, so she decided to put it under Gerda’s pillow. It switches to Ivan’s perspective, as he often dreams of his past. He thought that his family loved him more than anyone, but it appeared that he was wrong as he continuously waited for them. The only one who needs him now is the Snow Queen, and he won’t betray her as she holds control over his heart.

On the day of the ball, Gerda changes into a ball gown and waits for the maid to call her. While doing so, she sees two men acting suspiciously outside of the window. Gerda decides to go check on them, but accidentally bumps into them and they immediately recognise her from before. They threaten her, and hit her on the head so she blacks out. Ivan happens to see this, and uses his magic to freeze one of them when they refuse to let Gerda go. He proceeds to break the frozen man to pieces. When Gerda wakes up, she finds Ivan freezing the other man. But Ivan only remarks that if it weren’t for his intervention she would have died, plus he merely did so as he can’t let her die. Gerda admits that she acted thoughtlessly, but something could’ve happened otherwise. Hearing this, he questions if she enjoys throwing herself into danger so casually. But Gerda remains firm, including her desire to save Kai. This annoys Ivan further, as he points out that she may not be so lucky the next time.

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Gerda observes that it’s the first time he’s acted so emotionally, as if he’s denying what other people are telling him. She thinks that he does indeed have emotions, and that it’s alright to admit so. Ivan continuously warns her to stop talking, but Gerda refuses to run away. She wonders what he’s afraid of. As a result, Ivan forces a kiss on her. Though she tears up, she remarks that she’ll continue till he admits it. Ivan only takes it that she enjoys this sort of forced kiss, and does it again. After he releases her, Gerda falls to her knees but also glares at him. She didn’t expect her first kiss to come in this manner. Hearing this, Ivan apologises but points out that it’s all the same. He’s found a way to shut her up now, and reminds her that it was her fault for not listening to his warning. He advises her to return to her room before leaving.

The next day, Ivan proceeds to find Natalie. As he recalls last night, he thinks to himself that Gerda is constantly doing things against his expectations – even to the point of endangering herself. If that’s the case, it’ll be better to get the key and hurry onto the Green World. He easily gets the clock from Natalie, and wonders how Gerda will react when he gives it to her. Meanwhile, Gerda is lying in bed but persuades herself to get up and find the key for Kai’s sake. She explains her situation to Natalie and notices that her clock is missing. The princess eventually lets out that the key she’s finding is with Ivan.  Gerda thinks that both Ivan’s and her goal are actually the same. It’s just that she has the bottle which prevents him from using his magic. She thinks that it’s better for her to have a plan when meeting the Snow Queen first.

When Gerda finds Ivan, she offers him a challenge. If she wins, he’ll give her the key. If she loses, then she’ll let go of the bottle and let him take her to the Snow Queen. Ivan points out that if he wins and brings her there, she could possible lose her life. But Gerda doesn’t waver and states the challenge when he agrees: hide and seek. This takes him by surprise, and she proceeds to lay out the rules. He isn’t to use his magic, and will have until 5pm to find her. She insists on him counting till 30 first, while she runs off to hide. Left behind, Ivan sighs as he didn’t expect this to happen after last night. Truth be told, he could’ve just passed the key directly. But when she offered a challenge, he thought that he could make her lose instead. As he angrily mutters to himself, Ivan starts to count. Eventually, Gerda decides to hide in the fireplace of Alfred and Natalie’s room – or to be more specific, up in the chimney. Ivan comes into the room, and she manages to hold out till he leaves. But she relaxes a bit too early, and falls down. The clock strikes 5 and Ivan enters again to find her covered in dirt. It’s Gerda’s win. She asks if he had fun and after a short silence, Ivan replies that he wasn’t bored. He questions if this is what it means to have fun. To be honest, it shouldn’t matter to her. Gerda agrees, but would be happy if this could have called out some of his feelings. In response, Ivan throws the key at her before he leaves, not wanting to get dirty too.

That night, Natalie confirms with Ivan if Gerda has the key now. She asks if he sees Gerda differently now. Ivan agrees, as he thinks that each time he interacts with Gerda something stirs up inside his chest. Meanwhile, Gerda goes to visit the greenhouse for the last time. She finds Kai, but he treats her coldly and even pushes her down. This causes Gerda to hurt her foot. He remarks that he no longer wanted to be with her, so he left them. Kai adds that she can’t do anything by herself, and that includes defeating the Snow Queen. In fact, he removed everyone else from her side, bringing them to the White World. He’d like to do the same for her, but Ivan stopped him so he’ll bear with it for now. Even though Ivan said similar things to her, Gerda could retort back due to her desire to save Kai. But she can’t help but feel sad and regretful with Kai saying the same things – he’s no longer the Kai she knows. Seeing her tearing up, Kai says that he has no intentions of comforting her. He casually remarks that Aje is actually Ivan’s brother, before leaving.

Gerda can’t chase after him, as the pain in her foot is too much. She breaks down instead, and Ivan spots her there. He reminds her that he did tell her that bonds between people are very fragile. But Gerda thinks to herself that Ivan was the one who brought Kai away, which resulted in Kai changing like that now. Even though she did have fun earlier today, they are still enemies. Ivan wonders why she’s this sad, when Kai willingly went to the Snow Queen. In that case, there’s no longer a need to save Kai, he’s no longer the same Kai she knows. When Gerda only cries, Ivan questions if she can still insist that feelings are important when she’s this hurt. Just then, the lights in the greenhouse go off. Gerda is relieved by this, as he can no longer see her face. But to her surprise, Ivan hugs her. He tells her not to worry about anyone seeing them since it’s dark, so he’ll let her cry as much as she wants just for now. As Gerda does so, she can’t help but both feel sad and relieved at the same time. She ends up crying till she falls asleep, and for some reason Ivan hugs her tighter. He doesn’t know what he’s feeling right now. But it’s a painful one, so he thinks that as expected, he’s better off without feelings.

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When she wakes up the next day, she learns that Ivan had her moved back to her own room. Gerda recalls last night, and wonders why she didn’t dislike being hugged by him. He did feel cold, but there seemed to be warmth somewhere too. She ends up calling Ivan to her room, but an awkward silence passes through them till Ivan breaks it. He comments on how defenceless she is to sleep before a man, and how much of a child she is. Hearing this, Gerda thinks to herself that what happened yesterday was just a whim of his. He’s back to his usual self, and in fact a kind Ivan would be kind of frightening. Ivan then asks if she’s given up on going to the White World, after seeing Kai like that. But Gerda refuses to give up, and is surprised that Ivan doesn’t make light of her. Instead, he says that he doesn’t understand why she cried after all. In fact, seeing her so full of emotions irritates him. It’s strange that he feels some warmth too. He can’t betray the Snow Queen with his life in her hands, but he just wants to know what this feeling is.

Ivan asks to travel together with her till he finds the answer, which shocks Gerda. This is the first time he’s been so honest with her. But he emphasises that it’s only for that, and that he won’t save her. He promises not to take her away to the Snow Queen during that time too, though he’s sure that she’ll have a hard time trusting his words. Gerda recalls how he could’ve hurt her in other ways, even if he can’t touch her or use his magic – yet he didn’t. As such she decides to trust him, or rather she’d like to try trusting him. Gerda also wants to know what this feeling of his is. If they’re together, maybe she can find out what this feeling of hers is too. When they part ways from Alfred and Natalie, Ivan calls Gerda by her name for the first time. While Gerda notices this, it appears that Ivan isn’t paying any mind to it.

On the way to the Green World, the two of them take shelter from the rain. But the rain gets heavier and it starts to pour on them too. Ivan decides to go seek for better shelter, when Gerda grabs him as thunder strikes. Unlike her expectations, Ivan lets her be till the thunder stops. He doesn’t dislike this. On another day, Gerda falls sick and Ivan decides to let her rest for the night. Gerda can’t help but feel that Ivan’s been maintaining a certain distance from her even though they’re travelling together. For some reason, she feels a bit lonely.

When they arrive in the Green World, Ivan immediately puts on his mask and plans to part ways from her. If she wants to get the key in this world, it’ll be better to not be spotted together with him. He tells her of a house just ahead where bandits live, and thinks that she’ll be able to get along with them. He reminds her to say that she’s travelling alone, and to not mention him at all. Gerda can’t help but feel that he’s hiding something from her, and realises that she hardly knows anything about him. She recalls Kai’s words, of him and Aje being brothers. Just then, they’re attacked by the bandits and Ivan is quick to state that they’re not together. Instinctively, Gerda blurts out that they are while Ivan stresses again that they’re not together. The bandits get impatient and attack Ivan. Seeing the situation, Ivan decides to retreat for now and escapes with Gerda. They escape to the area of the forest which is heavily influenced by the Snow Queen’s powers, so the bandits are unlikely to enter the area.

Gerda realises that Ivan wore a mask as there is bad blood between him and the bandits, so he doesn’t want to agitate them. But she points out that they’re on guard even more when he’s hiding his face. She thinks that she’d like to see the person’s face after all, if they’re going to talk. Ivan goes quiet, but quickly returns to the subject of the key. He explains that Fine is the leader of the bandits, and her father was killed by the queen. They’d have to find some way to get the key from her, which is the necklace she’s wearing. Seeing Ivan think deeply about this, Gerda questions why he’s going so far for her. While it’s true that they have the same final goal, the way he’s acting now is different from before. Ivan is unable to give a clear answer, and wonders if he can really find the answer.

Instead, she asks what he would do if she breaks or happens to lose the bottle. To be honest he isn’t sure, but like he said he won’t take her away till he finds the answer. When Gerda sneezes repeatedly, Ivan observes that she isn’t feeling well and sighs excessively. He proceeds to put his coat over her, much to her surprise. He merely explains that he doesn’t want to delay this journey any further. For some reason, Gerda feels some warmth.

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The next day, Gerda wakes up and feels better. To her embarrassment, her stomach growls loudly and she is unable to find any appropriate food – instead she picks poisonous mushrooms. As a result, Ivan takes it upon himself to gather edible food. He is unable to understand her when she comments that it’s more delicious to eat together with someone else. He guesses that she must have grown up loved by her parents, and Gerda corrects him. She did, till they passed away. But she does have happy memories of them. Hearing this, Ivan is unsure of how to respond. So Gerda tells him just to listen to her. Ivan had always thought that she never felt loneliness, but also observes that she must be forcing herself. Eventually, Gerda brings up the fact that Aje is his brother, explaining that she heard it from Kai. Ivan thinks that Aje no longer sees him as one though, and closes the topic. Gerda wonders what happened between them. As they head back into the forest, Gerda gets caught in a trap set by the bandits. Ivan is too late in saving her, and ends up getting caught together. He never imagined her falling for such an obvious trap, and is unable to use his magic to get them out due to her bottle. As he takes out his own knife to cut the net, Gerda’s hair gets stuck in one of his accessories. Ivan removes it for her, before releasing them from the trap. After they do so, Ivan tells her to wait while he goes to check on the bandits first. On his way there, he notes that he isn’t acting like her enemy at all. He also recalls her words from before, and decides to not wear his mask. There, the men are on their guard and attack him. When they refuse to listen, Ivan retaliates but hesitates on freezing them as he wonders how Gerda would react.

At Gerda’s side, she finds herself at knife point by Fine and Bayser. But Fine soon lets her go as she observes that Gerda is really not capable of threatening them. When Gerda explains her situation, Fine is willing to lend her the key but wants her to cut off all ties with Ivan. She doesn’t think that they should be together. When Gerda hesitates, the bandits come over and report to Fine that Ivan is at their side. Everyone quickly goes to check the situation and they find patches of the ground frozen. Fine and Bayser go to stop their men, while Gerda goes to Ivan’s. She spots a man in the shadows aiming his arrow at Ivan, and she instinctively leaps in and gets hit on the arm. This shocks Ivan, and he finds himself unable to forgive the man for hurting her. He starts to freeze everything in sight and Gerda hugs him from behind, telling him to stop. She doesn’t want to see him hurt anyone else anymore. His magic soon ceases, as the effects of her bottle nullify it. Gerda explains that she couldn’t let him be seeing the look on his face, though she doesn’t know the reason. Hearing this, Ivan dispels the magic and the surroundings return to normal.

After Fine stops her men, they have Gerda’s injury treated. Bayser observes that Gerda must be important to Ivan, and the latter doesn’t deny it. When the topic of the key is brought up, Gerda expresses that she won’t accept Fine’s condition which surprises Ivan. Fine replies that she’s changed her mind, and will try to trust Ivan. Instead, she’ll change the condition. She tells Gerda and Ivan to kill some time outside, while they prepare something. Outside, Ivan asks the reason why Gerda refused the condition. She remains silent, and Ivan thinks to himself that Kai should be the most important to her. But he also recalls that she hasn’t mentioned Kai’s name recently. Instead, Gerda asks what he would do and Ivan answers that he might have made the same choice. Gerda thinks that it’s ‘cos he has yet to find the answer. But truth be told, Ivan has already realised it – especially when Gerda got hurt in his place. He can no longer deny how important she is to him. But he dismisses this and tells her to go and find Fine for the key. He doesn’t think that he should be there.

At Fine’s side, Gerda readily offers the card she got from Natalie. Fine replies that there’s no need, and only wants her to promise to return the key later. She can come with Ivan then, and Fine points out that Gerda was hesitant in the first place ‘cos she likes Ivan. Hearing her words, Gerda starts to realise her own feelings. At first, she was merely curious about Ivan. But after he took Kai away, her feelings towards him turned negative. Yet he later treated her kindly and saved her numerous times. Somehow she has grown to like him in the time they’ve spent together. Fine gives her some food which they prepared for their journey, and Bayser catches a glimpse of the card. He recognises the flower as a rare kind only found in the Green World, and it’s said to let you see a dream of the person closest to you.

Gerda returns to Ivan, finding him in a flower field. Ivan says that he has finally found the answer, but he is unable to bring her to the Snow Queen. He’s fallen in love with her, and is afraid of losing her. Even if he betrays the queen, he won’t let her go. It seems that his love for her is greater than his loyalty towards the Snow Queen. As he spent more time with her, he was unable to let her be. Even though he has done many cruel things to her, he asks if Gerda will still believe in his words. Gerda confesses her feelings too, and they kiss. Ivan says that he wants to find a way for them to be together. As they rest for the day, Gerda thinks to herself that Ivan’s only thinking of what he can do for her sake, and not himself. She’d like to return from the White World together with him.

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After she falls asleep, Ivan walks away and Kai finds him. Kai had been looking for him ever since he disappeared from the Yellow World. Ivan tells him to return to the White World first, not wanting Kai to interfere. Ivan remarks that he can no longer return to the way he was before, not knowing of these feelings. This shocks Kai, but Ivan is sure that he won’t regret it. Kai remains silent and walks off. The couple leave for the White World and upon reaching the cave, Ivan confirms if Gerda wants to go ahead. He’s still afraid of losing her, but he knows that she won’t give up that easily. She’s happy that he’s worried for her, but says that she feels the same way. She just wants to remain by his side. She also asks of how he came to serve the Snow Queen.

He shares that on a snowy night he went to retrieve Aje’s toy, and then he saw her. At that moment, there was the general sentiment in the village that all the negative things happening were due to the snow – the increasing number of injured people, the roads being cut off. Someone recalled an old tale, that it was the Snow Queen’s fault. So they need to do a festival to drive her away. Of course no one truly believed in the Snow Queen existing, lest expecting that it would offend her. Knowing that she plans to bury the village in snow due to this, Ivan felt that he had to stop her. And so she asked him to sacrifice in exchange for that. Ivan agreed, with the condition that he’ll come with her till someone comes for him. But no matter how long he waited, no one came. Hearing this, Gerda thinks that there are possible reasons why no one came for him, and Ivan agrees as he reflects back. But at that time the young him only thought that he was being abandoned and he couldn’t stand the loneliness. Gerda recalls the dream she kept having, and thinks that it might have been Ivan’s past. She remarks that anyone would have felt lonely, and instinctively pats him on the head. Though he doesn’t exactly like being treated like a kid, Ivan doesn’t mind her patting him so he lets her be. He adds that he was hurt so he decided to serve the Snow Queen, since he heard that doing so would pretty much freeze one’s heart. But upon seeing Aje after so many years, he realised that deep down he still wanted to believe in them. Ger doesn’t think that Aje is one to abandon his brother, and suggests Ivan to talk to him about it. He agrees, and hopes to be able to do so after this is over.

Later, Ivan tells her to rest first before they continue on to meet the queen. He’ll wake her up later. But after Gerda falls asleep, Ivan appears to have other plans. While she did manage to change him, he doesn’t think that it will be that easy with the Snow Queen – it’s a risky bet to take and he doesn’t want to lose her. He’ll have to part ways with her here. Ivan then uses his magic to create a rose made out of ice for her, and places it by her side. He then kisses her, and wishes for her happiness. Ivan returns to the castle, and tells the Snow Queen that Gerda isn’t here. He can no longer pledge loyalty to her, for his love for Gerda surpasses it. Perhaps he has been influenced by Gerda, but he does not feel much fear and even asks for the queen to give up on Gerda’s shard and to release the rest. But the queen decides to freeze both his body and heart once more, thinking that those feelings of his are fleeting only. Ivan manages to retaliate her first attack, but fails afterwards as she robs both his energy and magic – after all his magic came from her.

Gerda wakes up, and finds the ice rose but Ivan is nowhere to be found. Suddenly, cracks appear in the rose and she places it in her pocket while hurrying to the castle. Just then, an amused daemon appears and asks for more entertainment before disappearing. Meanwhile, the Snow Queen decides to rid of Gerda since she’s the reason for Ivan changing. While Ivan attempts to put up a last resistance, Gerda appears before them. Pleased to see her, the queen tells Gerda to throw the bottle down before coming over. Seeing Ivan all battered up, Gerda’s resolution to protect him this time strengthens. She asks for the queen to promise not to hurt Ivan anymore in return for the shard. Hearing this, the Snow Queen notes how both of them go to such lengths for each other, before promising her. Gerda apologises to Ivan, for this is the only way she has now. She’s thankful to have travelled with him, which allowed her to know more about him. She’s thankful to have fallen for him. As she takes out the rose, she thanks him for it before dropping the bottle. The queen removes the shard from Gerda, after which Gerda collapses.

She soon wakes up, much to Ivan’s relief. But to his surprise, she coldly tells him not to call her name so casually. It’s as if her heart is now frozen. The queen explains that the shard had integrated into Gerda’s body, so removing it probably caused this to happen in return. Ivan sees that while she is alive, Gerda’s heart is now dead. As Ivan betrayed the queen, she tells Gerda to finish him off. She did promise Gerda that only she won’t hurt Ivan, but nothing else. As Gerda goes to carry out her order, Ivan desperately tries to stop her. He recalls how angry he was when she was hurt ‘cos of him, but right now he’s much more furious. In the first place, he betrayed the Snow Queen due to meeting her. But Gerda insists that she only wanted to save Kai, that’s all. Hearing this angers Ivan further, and he forcefully kisses her. Gerda recalls the previous time this happened, and her memories with him start to resurface in her mind – as does her feelings for him. She tries to struggle free from him, and Ivan challenges her to try killing him, convinced that she can’t do it. He tells her to admit to the fact that she has feelings. Gerda recalls a similar conversation they had in the Yellow World, and stops attacking him.

Gerda says that she can’t kill him, for she loves him. This shocks the Snow Queen, but she refuses to listen to Gerda who insists that she too must have feelings. After all, she waited for Ivan to return like a family member – she’s only denying it. The queen remarks that no one understands her, and retreats back in the midst of a snow storm. Seeing the lonely expression on her face, Gerda doesn’t give up and chases after her. This shakes the queen’s resolution, and the snow stops. She can’t understand why Gerda didn’t run away, but she can see how she could have melted Ivan’s frozen heart. The Snow Queen shakes Gerda’s hand away, and says that it’ll be bothersome for her to stay here any longer. She’ll release the people she captured, but she can’t let Ivan go with her. He swore loyalty to her so she can’t forgive him for betraying her. Ivan agrees to this, as he believes that he needs to close this chapter before moving on. As he awaits his punishment, the Snow Queen waves her staff and daggers of ice are aimed at him.

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In the epilogue, Gerda looks back on her journey till Ivan calls her out of her thoughts. He tells her to look forward to the future more, instead of the past. After all, he’s been teaching her how to cook for that sake. Their situation now isn’t that much different from the past, except that his hair is now shorter. At that time, the Snow Queen merely cut away his hair, remarking that the Ivan who served her is now dead. Gerda had come for him so he can now leave. And so they returned to the village with everyone’s shards removed. After that, Kai kept apologising to her for the things he did. Right now, he’s gone to the Red World to see Will and Lydia. Orva’s illness has returned, but his condition is much better than before. Craes returned to working in the restaurant, while Ivan reunited with Aje and they dissolved the misunderstanding. The brothers returned home after that and one month later, Ivan came to find Gerda. Seeing her lost in her thoughts again, Ivan teases her as he remarks that he’ll kiss her if she keeps doing that. When Gerda gets flustered, he continues teasing her and wonders if she prefers a forceful one instead. Up till now, she still can’t win over him when it comes to talking things out. It feels as though she’s being played with each time, but she can’t help but forgive him in the end. She declares that she’ll shock him with her cooking next time, but he tells her it’s alright to take it easy. After all, it won’t be fun if she improves at once, and he likes seeing how hard she works. Gerda thinks to herself that these days will continue on.

Overall

Waaah I finished it! \o/ Tbh it wasn’t that long a game but nowadays I take quite a while to finish them and post about them…… anyway! My bias is here so basically anything I say will be biased! I love Ivan’s personality, and again the confrontation with the queen was ??? I loved his bonus CG by the way, it fitted him so much that I wish there would be a spin-off about it lol. I pretty much enjoyed all of his bonuses unlocked❤

Concluding Thoughts

I feel as though this is something we should more or less expect from recent Otomate games (let’s discount collabs though). The characters are fun. The heroine is decent. The art is lovely, so is the music. The cast is grand. The plot…could be more polished. With SBL though, I think it’s quite clear why it fell kinda flat. The story was too linear for all the routes. If you think about, basically everyone wants to go find the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen wants them to come to her. Everyone’s final goal is more or less the same. Which is why Ivan’s route was a bit ?? since it would make more sense for him to just take her there asap with his magic. But they had to find some way for that not to take place since it would be cutting his route even shorter. So yes, all the routes will work in the same manner: Red World, Yellow World, Green World, White World. After a while, you know what to expect. They cannot add in much “individual” stuff since everyone’s goal is…almost the same. The most spin they could do was Craes’ but…if you know what happens there it kinda contradicts what happens in everyone else’s epilogue. On that same note, there ends up hardly being any conflict to solve since…queen wants shards = they don’t want shards.

sbl-fc

So yeah……idk I think doing an adaptation of The Snow Queen was an interesting concept. But everything ended up too linear. Even with Moujuutsukai to Oujisama, the story was kinda linear. But they split up the princes’ into 2 sides towards the end so that at least you get different perspectives of two ongoing events. Same for Clock Zero. I don’t think SBL could’ve done the same without dramatically changing the original fairy tale it was based on…and it looks like they didn’t want to do so for some reason or another. So well, SBL wasn’t fantastic but it wasn’t a disaster like a certain Otomate game I played……lol.

This is just my personal opinion. It’s okay to enjoy games which are character-driven. But to me that would be games like Corda 3 – plus it has a gruelling fun system. And for me, I’d rather games like SBL and NORN9 come off as more plot-driven in my eyes. Or…at least be consistent. It’s just an expectation thing which differs from player to player. Sure, the newly-announced Otomate games look promising. But with this recent trend of theirs, I am losing my faith in their stories. I mean, they weren’t exactly ~woah mind-blowing~ but they were decent and more or less consistent.  They also took the time to develop their sub-characters nicely too. So yeah like I mentioned in a certain review, the only other Otomate game I’m planning to play now is Jyuuzaengi 2. Which is more like RED’s lol!

I know I’m playing Corda 3 AnotherSky feat. Jinnan now, but I’ll probably be writing just a non-spoiler review for it. I don’t have much motivation to touch other titles atm so I’m just asking: what would you all be interested in next? Ken ga Kimi, OZMAFIA!!, Getsuei FD? Or non-heavy stuff like DotKare, Arabians Doubt? Or some non-otome titles? Or jump into HaruToki for Ishida hahahaha /shot

9 thoughts on “SNOW BOUND LAND: Ivan’s Route & Concluding Thoughts

  1. midoriha says:

    Thank you for this—-! That scene when Ivan hugs Gerda after the lights in the greenhouse go off was sweet, yet, saddening at the same time. I do like how, throughout the route, they showed how Gerda’s and Ivan’s feelings for each other slowly developed, as they spent more time with each other.it’s really…nice.
    A love confession in the flower field?that’s sooo utterly romantic!
    And a rose made of ice? Why, that’s romantic too!
    I think Ivan didn’t bring her straight to the Snow Queen, because he wanted to first understand why he was so intrigued be Gerda, and whether he was really starting to have feelings again, and so on…?
    Overall, this game was pretty nice, and i love the art, it’s very appealing to me, hehe.
    once again, thank yooouuu!

  2. Usagi says:

    OzMafia is fun so I’d love to hear your thoughts on that! Getsuei’s FD is kind of disappointing though and really short — I finished the entire thing in just three days so it was like oh.:/ Have fun with La Cord D’oro!

    • Yume says:

      Wow seriously 3 days? I think I’ll take longer considering my schedule but still! Or maybe I should play Getsuei FD first just to clear one title out quickly lol. It’s nice to hear that you enjoyed OZMAFIA!! I kinda avoided all spoilers till now so I don’t really know what to expect from it. Good to hear that it’s fun~😄 And thanks! Corda can be pretty addicting huhuh.

  3. Hinano says:

    Norn9 characters at least had their individual quirks/scenes and somewhat variety of ends so it was a lot more “refreshing” than SBL lol. That’s why I guess I enjoyed Norn9 but going through red & yellow worlds became really tedious with this game after a while. This reminds me a lot of otomate’s old games where most of the game is basically this kind of copy pasta…and this is a great example of what QR’s games have become lol.

    • Yume says:

      Thinking back, NORN9 kinda fell towards the end but SBL…kinda had those loopholes from the beginning. And it’s they didn’t know what else they could add. ^^; I’ve found QR games to always have quite a bit of copy-paste but I guess from your words it got worse lol.

  4. Rina says:

    Hey again ^^ I asked this before, but since this time you asked for what we’d be interested in; I personally would love to see Death Connection. Love colored sky is doing detailed summaries of Ken ga Kimi at the moment (yay!). Someone is translating Ozmafia at the moment, and they’re around 25% (?) done. Still though, Death Connection doesn’t have detailed summaries anywhere online. Just short brief ones. And at this point of time, since it’s a bit of an older game, it doesn’t seem likely that it’ll get any more coverage from now on, unlike other games mentioned. It’s an otomate game, but it was before otomate started going on this downward trend (at least from what I believe). Like I’ve heard people say really good things about it. Well breadmasterlee did praise it and so have other reviewers as well. Of course, it’s ultimately up to you and I will totally respect your decision either way🙂 Thank you so much❤

    P.S. Good job on finishing SBL and glad to see you enjoyed your bias despite the linear storyline, yay ^^

    • Yume says:

      To be honest I was asking out of the games from my direct backlog, but thanks for your input. ^^;

      I don’t really mind if other people are already writing on the games I’m interested in (this has happened a few times already ‘cos I don’t really bother). I also don’t mind when people start to write about games I’m currently blogging about. I will still continue. All of us bloggers have different styles too so it’s up to readers which they prefer to read. It’s a personal thing but I feel that writing about the game ‘cos I want to is the best motivation for myself. It definitely does help others understand the game, but I’d want the ultimate motivation to be for myself so that it won’t become a chore.

      Sorry for the rant, just wanted to explain a bit on my side. I will get to DC some day, like how I went to play Kamikimi out of the blue. That day seems nearer since I’m not interested in any upcoming games besides Jyuuzaengi 2. I just…need to reduce my direct backlog further. ;;

      And thanks! I pretty much got SBL for Ivan so I was probably determined to enjoy his route lol.

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