pc protagonist

Retro Leading Ladies of Gaming 1- Recette LemonGrass

Game – Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale

Year Released: December 2007 in japan, September 2010 in NA and Europe

Platform: PC

Game Type : Single Player Action role-playing, business simulation.

“Capitalism, HO!”

“Recette Lemongrass is the main protagonist of Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale.

She lives alone in a house on top of a hill in Pensee after her father decided to become a hero, and went out on an “adventure” three months ago. Unbeknownst to Recette, he left her an outstanding debt so big that Tear won’t even tell her the total amount!

The player takes control of Recette to buy and sell items to gather enough “Pix”, the in-game currency, in her house-turned-item-store, Recettear (a portmanteau of the two partners’ names, Recette and Tear), to make increasing weekly debt payments over the course of five weeks.” – From the Recettear Wiki

Background : Recette will be the first of many women I look at over the year, and I’m happy the randomizer chose her first, as she’s one of my favorite choices among girls from less known games. I could talk a lot about the game, but for better or worse that’s not the focus here. What we are here to talk about is the main heroine of our adventure, Recette.

Recette is a young girl of age unknown (probably between the ages of 12-16? Who knows with these types of things?) She’s been living her life in her home city doing dick all it seems, since her father decided to go try and be a hero and has not returned. One day a fairy, Tear, shows up and tells her that her dad dun got himself dead and now she’s settled with all his debt, because apparently he took it all out in student loans and that shit never goes away.

Personality :  Recette is… a bit “light “ on the thoughts, and a bit more about the actions.  She tends to think before she acts at times, but is kind, thoughtful, and sincere in her words. If she says she’s going to do something, it’ll get done.  She’s also endlessly positive and optomisitic, and despite the shitty situation she finds herself in, she keeps on trucking, and never gives up. Much of her personality is evened out by her co-worker/handler/knee breaker Tear, the fairy who basically helps her set up the racket  totally legit business of running the item shop. Her personality doesn’t change too much through the game, except for her opening up more to others, learning to believe in herself, and develop a close friendship with Tear and the adventurers in her life.

She also has a very VERY strange and active imagination, often letting her thoughts go where they may, often to strange places, such as weird ways to make money, or pay off her debt. She’s also quite talented, not only in dealing with others, but in various skills, such as needlework, knowledge of local flora, craftsmanship, and being a pack mule for the tons of loot found in dungeons.

Role in the game: Recette’s place in the game and world is that of an item shop owner. She’ll buy low/sell high, and work her butt off to get the best prices, in order to acquire enough shekels to pay off her father’s debt, and be a strong independent woman who don’t need no adventures.  She can also join various adventurers in world on their travels into dungeons, and although she cannot directly interfere, she can assist them if they are hurt, and carry all the stuff they find to sell later, all at the low low cost of either paying them up front, or becoming their friends and going for free. As far as the story goes, it full revolves around her and her attempts to make money, and once you hit endless mode, it’s more about finding out about the other characters, the secrets behind the dungeons and maybe even… THE ACTUAL FATE OF HER FATHER !!! DUN DUN DUN!

As a video game character she doesn’t really have much in the way of abilities or skills, since the majority of the game is haggling, talking, and selling shit, but that’s just fine, as it suits the mood and tone of the game perfectly. Recettee is as capable as she needs to be, and meets any challenges put before her.

Relationships: Through the game, Recette meets and befriends various characters, including adventurers, a rival shop runner who is snobby, rich, and has her own fairy friend, the town vendors, and MYSTERIOUS STRANGERS. As with most things, Recette’s interactions with most of the other characters is amusing, light hearted, and positive.   There is no romantic relationship in the game, and minimal familial one, so almost all her interactions are with friends and strangers.

Of all the relationships however, of most importance is that she has with Tear, the fairy who came to collect on what’s owed. Although their initial meeting wasn’t due to the best reasons, they become much closer, with Tear eventually filling kind of a mentor/big sister role to Recette.  When the game is over, and Tear set to leave, Recette expresses her sadness, but is overjoyed to hear Tear say that she will stay to help because Recette is basically lost without her, and probably will let the shop burn down due to her laziness.

Final Personal Thoughts - Overall, I really like Recette. I have a soft spot for the endless optimist, and especially for one who tempers it with a willingness to do what needs to be done, work hard, and meet their goals. Recette inspires us to never give up, and not let bad circumstances make us bad people. She’s also much more capable then others give her credit for, and even if a bit of an air head, she’s not upset by it, and more than willing to listen to others, and default to their knowledge when she’s out of her depth.  She’s also a cold business woman, and is able to make some buco bucks in quite the short time.

I’m also a big fan of her relationship with Tear, as it’s great to see how they bounce off each other, and temper out the best and worst parts of each others personalities.  I also really like this game, so I hope that if you haven’t played it, and you’re interested in games with female leads, business sims, or just fun, cute games in general, you’ll give it a go.