In Lair Land, a Chinese Princess Maker clone, you take on the role of Hirol who is taking care of the mysterious Chilia. She was found unconscious during a fight against some dragonlike creatures, with no memory of who she is. The priest is convinced she was sent by the goddess and asks Hirol to take care of her, as he thinks how Chilia grows up will affect the fate of mankind.
The game was first released for PC in 2007, with Chinese text and Japanese voice overs (for a few scenes), later on it got ported to PSP by Arc System Works for the Japanese market. A new character and a few new extras where added. But the PSP port lacks the skip function of the PC game.
The game starts of with a pretty anime cutscene explaining how they met:
After Hirol and Chilia have settled down in their home the simulation part of the game kicks in. The game spans a time of 4 years, each month spans 30 days and you can choose what you want Chilia to do twice a month. Three actions can be choosen from 4 different categories. You have a couple of options and as time passes more get unlocked. You can go to classes, take on jobs, repair the war struck kingdom or let Chilia relax. It's important to balance out raising Chilia's stats, earning money and letting Chilia's stress level go down again with a nice bath or an holiday trip. Repairing the city is absolutely optional, but has various effects on the game. It triggers events, gives you discounts in shops and makes more items to buy available. It's probably also a requirement for the best ending.
And there is a lot of endings. Job related endings, romance endings and different story endings. Depending on what skills you level, what classes and jobs you master, how much of the kingdom you rebuilt and what events you trigger (and what choices you make in these!) you will end up with different endings. So far I only got one ending, from my first playthrough and Chilia ended up being this mad alchemist and tied Hirol on a chair to make him drink her weird potions. I liked that as my first ending. :>
The game has a good portion of humor. I especially cracked up at the mushroom picking holiday scene:
Besides all the stat raising and getting to know the kingdom's people, there's also the option to invest in your house and upgrade it, get furniture for your home, dress Chilia up and you can even ask the tailor to make custom coloured clothes, if you have the right items and enough money. At the hair stylist's you can get her a new haircut and on your second playthrough even new hair colours. After you finish the game, you get bonus points, which you can spend in the Bonus Shop via the main menu. There you can buy new clothes and new hairstyles and colours. The CG Gallery is also unlocked after getting your first ending.
I've hardly scratched the surface of the game on my first playthrough, but thanks to the skip function I'll surely go back to game soon. I really want to find out who that masked dude in the forest was who hypnotised Chilia. And I also want to see the marriage endings. A really nice thing about the those is, that you can get Hirol and Chilia married individually. Of course the two can also end up together, but there's also other partners for each of them to meet and romance. Sadly you never really know for whom you will trigger an event when walking through the town, sometimes it's an event for Chilia, sometimes for Hirol. (Or both of them.)
One thing that bothered me was that pretty blue haired harp playing guy Chilia meets at the plaza and then meets again when taking the violinist job. Why the hell is that hottie not dateable!? :>
I definitely recommend this game to anyone who's a fan of stat raising sims, it's pretty catering to both genders, which is quite rare in this genre. Even without any knowledge of Chinese, the game is rather playable, once you figured out, what each button means. I surely haven't found out what all of them meant and still got me a pleasing ending. :)