Everyone has that spark inside of them that drives them. For some it's math, others it's music or art. The Lion's Song is a game about what it means to achieve personal greatness.
Who made The Lion's Song?
MI'PU'MI Games. They are probably most famous for their work on a few of the Hitman games and Control. Their tagline is "great games don't have to be big". I agree.
This is not a long game and is essentially 4 stories in one. You play as four characters whose stories all overlap in subtle ways. I found this game a long time ago because Steam allowed you to play the first part for free but ultimately got it via Epic Games. If you are a Switch gamer, you can play it there too!
1st Lion's Song:
I can’t handle horror and I remember being scared in the cabin. I thought she was going to be murdered. This time, I knew that wasn’t the case. So I think I was able to enjoy the music more and the subtle changes as the story progressed. For example, the lamp gave way to a melody and the books contributed to her symphony. You could hear it all being pieced together. It reminded me of the orchestra dream sequences in Night in the Woods. The innkeeper calls were my favorite but I will admit I didn’t play much into her and her professor’s relationship.
2nd Lion's Song:
Technically, you meet this guy through his drawings in the cabin, but now we play as him. Right away, I wanted to paint the critic and his grandpa. I was a little sad I couldn’t choose either of those options in the beginning. So I went for the obnoxious soldier and he was mad I didn’t capture his essence. Sorry bro, I did my best but it felt like you didn’t want to be vulnerable. Instead, you tried to cover your insecurities with boasts of your heroism and superior strength.
Struggling to be a “real” artist I went to a marketplace with Gramps and met an old flame of his. I knew I had to paint her because she’s charming and I want to set up my single gramps. I gotta make sure my gramps’ new girlfriend is trustworthy, you know? (My IRL grandpa is dating someone right now and they are so cute. It’s not as weird as in-game gramps makes it out to be). I go to a cafe and accidentally meet the protag of part 3. We have a grand old time. Unfortunately, after every painting, I have a blackout. I tell my critic about it and she sends me to Dr. Freud who tells me I have identity issues.
After my *major* breakthrough, I realize there’s a second easel in my workshop. I’ve been secretly working on during my blackouts that’s a self-portrait. Apparently, I relate to the people I paint so much, I worked some of their characteristics into my self-portrait. After confronting my identity, I go to my critic’s house and she invites me into her place for tea. Later, I meet up with gramps in the marketplace and he’s buying flowers for the actress. I offer to paint him and he says, “Sure, but please paint me how I was in my youth, the mountain-climber.”. No promises, I paint people as I see them. I chose to paint gramps because I love him and he has done a lot for me in this anthology.
3rd Lion's Song:
Emma is a woman in STEM before women were allowed to be in STEM. Her dad raised her to believe in herself and she really wants to be a part of the Radius which is a Math club for professors to nerd out about their theories. Since she’s a girl, she can’t go in so she gets the genius idea to use the clothes she got from her dad, pull a Mulan, and enter the club as “Emil”. Emil casually schools everyone at math club and she gets a different perspective which helps her develop her theory.
The devs threw in a discrete math professor and he disappears in part 4 and it feels like an inside joke because discrete math is like math for coders, all logic and proofs. Anyway, she has a rival and he finds out her theory is stepping on his territory, finds out her secret, and challenges her to an academic duel. She kills it at the duel. Instead of tearing apart the rival, I extended grace and let him keep his dignity. No one deserves to be torn apart and humiliated. I also made a bunch of puns, started working with my rival, and became a professor at the university.
4th Lion's Song:
In part 4, it feels like a parody of the Canterbury Tales. I haven’t read it but it’s a book where these passengers tell stories together of their lives on a journey which is what this part is about. You have the musician’s brother who didn’t feel like an individual because he felt like his sister had talent and he was talentless. There’s a forger who has only made copies of other artists’ work instead of trying to make his own.
You have Emma’s student, who got his sister into the university through his connections. And finally, a journalist trapped in a destiny of his lineage. What do they all have in common? World War I, of course. I think I was able to save many of them, but World War I was historically deadly and I don’t think you could change that in the game. The good news: all of the characters we met lived.
Lion’s Song is beautifully made and well written. I loved the aesthetic. It’s set in Vienna and it was nice to experience a culture I have never experienced before. The title meaning is essentially the journey to creating one’s magnum opus, and how it affects the community around us. Our lion’s song may be heard for a little while but not all legacies are long-lasting and that’s ok. It’s ok to get stuck and grow through your work.
None of the characters were inherently good at what they did, they all struggled but worked through their frustrations to hone their craft. All of these stories resonated with me for different reasons. The act of creation is hard, it’s an exploration into the depths of yourself, and every time you create something, you put pieces of yourself on display, even if you are depicting someone else because of your perspective. You will reach drawbacks and setbacks in any line of work, but that doesn’t mean the end. There will be breakthroughs and when you’re ready to share your work, it will be amazing even if only you see it.
Overall MI'PU'MI Games y’all did a great job. Thank you for reading my take The Lion's Song, I appreciate it. Comment below your favorite way to create. If you like my content, consider subscribing to my mailing list. I'll see you in the next post!