“Astoria: Fate’s Kiss” continues the story of Medusa

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A few months ago, I wrote about Labyrinths of Astoria, the charming, though bafflingly-titled “romantic visual novel” from Voltage entertainment. In it, player/readers have to opportunity to play as an agent of H.E.R.A., a secret organization dedicated to serving and controlling Greek gods and deities in the modern age.  You can decide to fall in love with one of several characters, all of who are men with the exception of Medusa, the decidedly un-snakelike Gorgon, who steals your character’s heart.

This month, Voltage added new chapters to the story of you and Medusa, and just as before, they are a campy, fluffy treat. It’s now called, Astoria: Fate’s Kiss (for some reason, “Astoria,” rather than “labyrinths” is the concept they felt it was more important to hold on to). In the new installments, Medusa’s evil mother, Echidna has burst on the scene and is determined to cause chaos/dress to kill.

MEDUSA1DON’T YOU DARE TALK THAT WAY ABOUT TONGUES, MADAM.

The action-y parts of the story are entertaining enough, but the real action is in the love story, which quickly becomes a love-triangle with your swoony, non-binary boss, Alex.

MEDUSA2QUEER FACT: ELEVATORS ARE THE SECOND-HOTTEST PLACE TO MAKE OUT, AFTER BATHROOMS.

Yes, it seems that now you’re taken by a hot Gorgon, your demigod boss just can’t keep their hands off you. Which, truthfully, is AWESOME. I don’t condone cheating, but I DO condone this game treating Alex’s gender identity as a non-issue when compared to the legal/ethical repercussions of making out in the elevator. They are never misgendered, their anatomy is never a subject of speculation, and even their Aura (IDEK) encompasses both doe and stag.

MEDUSA3STILL? BITCH, ALWAYS.

My only regret is that there is not a separate storyline in which you can fall in love with Alex, since enticing though they are, they never really pose a threat to your relationship with Medusa. I mean come on, Voltage, you have five dudes. One of whom is Cerberus, the dog who guards the gates of hell. Let’s mix it up a little bit.

Other than the uneven representation, Fate’s Kiss also occasionally suffers from the impression that queer women are as titillated by the sight of a bra as straight women are by the sight of a bare-chested man.

MEDUSA4EITHER PUT HER IN AN OLD SLEATER-KINNEY T-SHIRT OR NOTHING AT ALL.

But we can’t fault them too much, because according to this game, Zeus looks like this.

MEDUSA5LIKE SUGE KNIGHT SAW A PICTURE OF ’90S JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AND THOUGHT, “YES.”

The animation, generally, is as unpolished as ever, but the writing is still sharp, warm, and occasionally quite shmexy.

MEDUSA6FOR A GORGON, YOU DON’T SO MUCH TURN PEOPLE TO STONE AS MELT THEM.

It is also, quietly and unassumingly, one of the more gender-revolutionizing things you can do on your phone.

Astoria: Fate’s Kiss is available for iPhone and Android.

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