The Good People (Na Daoine Maithe) | First Impressions | Demo Review

Rather than bringing fairies to the modern world, ‘The Good People’ takes modern players to the fairy world in this upcoming romantic visual novel by indie developers, ‘Moirai Myths’…

Game Name: The Good People (Na Daoine Maithe)
Developer: Moirai Myths
Publisher: Moirai Myths
Platforms: Steam, itch.io
Release Date: TBA
Age Rating: N/A
More information: Website, Twitter, Tumblr.

Premise & Story

“Venture into Tír na nÓg, the Celtic Otherworld, in order to retrieve your family’s stolen valuables… and get swept up in deadly fairy politics and a whirlwind romance along the way.”

– Game Description (Steam)

‘The Good People’ is an immersive, authentic tale of love and fairies in the mystical land of Tír na nÓg. If you’ve ever heard tales of lone travelers being spirited away to the land of the fae, then you’ll find plenty of references to these tales in this game. It’s a fairy fan’s dream – and as a fairy fan myself, I can highly recommend trying out the new demo for Moira Myth’s ‘The Good People’.

There are many stories about fairies out in the world – and even a few romantic visual novels – but one thing that sets ‘The Good People’ apart from the rest is its regular use of the Irish language throughout the game. This not only becomes a fun way to see the language used in context (many otome fans use games to learn Japanese, so why not Irish too?), but also further facilitates the player’s immersion into the world of the game.

You can access the Lexicon via the menu, or select any highlighted word in the text to open its relevant entry.

I also loved that – despite the bleak, historical backdrop – there’s still an element of whimsy and wonder in this mystical world; which is only further enhanced by the fantastical, painterly background art and colourful character sprites. Plus, the script has just enough comedy in each scene to complement the grittier themes – making a politically-charged environment both exciting and entertaining in equal measure.

The free demo currently contains the story’s preface chapters (up to the point where players would normally choose a route), which ended up being much more content than I was expecting from a preliminary release. I appreciated having such a substantial opportunity to indulge in the story and get to know the cast, and after playing through the demo, it’s safe to say I’ll be keeping ‘The Good People’ on my radar for future updates and releases.

The final release date is yet to be announced, so I recommend signing up to the Moira Myths newsletter via their website, and following them on Twitter & Tumblr to be kept in the loop. You can also wishlist ‘The Good People’ on Steam, and follow Moira Myths on itch.io to be notified when updates to the game are made…

Game Trailer

Characters

‘The Good People’ features a diverse cast with a balanced mix of genders, appearances, and personalities. I love how distinct each character is – or at least appears to be, based on their initial introductions in the demo – and, since there’s so much variety, there’s bound to be a love interest that can appeal to any player, regardless of personal preferences…

Main Character (MC)

Name: Customizable (Default: Éireannach)
Pronouns: Customizable (She/Her, They/Them, He/Him)
Appearance: N/A
Voice Actor: N/A

The main character (MC) in ‘The Good People’ has a customizable name and three pronoun options, as well as an ambiguous appearance with no set character sprite. You may be prompted to choose you clothes during the story, but otherwise, there’s no canonical physical appearance for MC, making this a great ‘self-insert’ game for those who like to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonist.

In terms of personality, the MC seems to be family-oriented, funny, sarcastic, and determined. They’re largely bewildered by the events taking place in the demo (and fairly hungry, too), so their behaviours were somewhat influenced by the situation, but it’s likely that their personality will become more apparent as the game progresses.

Love Interests

  • SHAE FÉARGLAS (They/Them): an honourable Seelie soldier questing to find a lost princess.
  • KEAGAN MÁISTIRÚIN (He/Him): the Seelie Court spymaster with a plethora of enemies.
  • AÍFE EALABHÀN (She/Her): Queen of the Seelie, a rumoured usurper falsely ordained by the gods.
  • MAEVE TROIDUAIR (She/Her): an Unseelie folk hero endowed with the power of the Morrígan.
  • FLANNÁN MAC LUGH (He/Him): the newly crowned Unseelie King, and son of the Unseelie’s infamous rebel leader, Lugaid.
  • ROBIN GOODFELLOW (Any/All): a shapeshifting trickster of unknowable origins, whose primary goal is making mischief for the Unseelie.

Gameplay

Estimated gameplay: ~2-3 hours depending on how quickly you read and the choices you make.

As a visual novel, the gameplay mechanics for ‘The Good People’ are fairly standard and easy to use. There are several ways to customize the gameplay experience, including allowing/disallowing the ability to explore the background art by moving your mouse around the screen (called Background Parallax in ‘settings’), as well as a variety of accessibility-based options.

Furthermore, ‘The Good People’ incorporates a comprehensive ‘Lexicon’ for the Irish language used throughout the game. This not only defines the words, but also provides a pronunciation guide. If you’ve ever tried to learn Irish as a native English speaker, you’ll know how pronunciation is particularly difficult since it uses the same alphabet, but with completely different sounds for the same letters.

It’s like learning a whole new alphabet – just one that also happens to look identical to the one you already know. Needless to say, including a pronunciation guide in the lexicon is much appreciated, as pronouncing Irish words as an English speaker is certainly not as intuitive as it might seem.

Another notable aspect regarding gameplay for ‘The Good People’ is the option for timed choices. These are turned on by default, but I found the average speed setting to be too fast for me. I considered turning them off entirely (which is possible), but I ended up enjoying having an incentive think quickly, so I decided to leave the timer enabled and just put it on the lowest speed setting.

I also eventually turned ‘Background Parallax’ off, since I found it disorienting to see the background move around as I ran my cursor over the text to see a word’s Lexicon entry. Turning off ‘Background Parallax’ and setting the timed options to low would be my personal recommendation for settings, but everyone has different preferences for gameplay, so it’s worth experimenting with them throughout the demo until you find the settings best suited to you.

Final Thoughts

Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m a sucker for anything to do with fairies. As soon as I saw the title I knew I’d be checking out ‘The Good People’, and I’m glad it fell onto my radar several months ago, so I wouldn’t have to miss out on such a fun, fairy-themed title.

Despite my initial enthusiasm, I do try to be cautious going into fairy-themed games, as I know I have a tendency to get over excited and set myself up for disappointment. However, I had no cause for concern with ‘The Good People’. All my expectations were met, if not exceeded, and I’m looking forward to continuing the story in a future, full release.

You’ll like ‘The Good People’ if you like: Fairies; Irish folklore, history, and mythology; games that immerse you in a world and culture you may never experience otherwise; comedic, fantasy-adventure stories with a loveable cast of characters; stories about the Seelie and Unseelie fae…

Screenshots

Game Info

Game Name: The Good People (Na Daoine Maithe)
Developer: Moirai Myths
Publisher: Moirai Myths
Platforms: Steam, itch.io
Release Date: TBA
Age Rating: N/A
More information: Website, Twitter, Tumblr.

Thank You

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