top of page

The taboo PS2 game that was banned from multiple countries

Rule of Rose is a misunderstood game released in 2006 and unfortunately got banned in many releases of the game. The plot of Rule of Rose focuses on a nineteen-year-old orphan named Jennifer. She recovers the forgotten memories of her childhood and remembers the people she knew at the Rose Garden Orphanage. Because the plot is based on Jennifer's memories alone, what happened is not always apparent to the player because Jennifer's memory can alter or distort events and dates. The fact that the plot is only based on Jennifer's point of view also stops the player from seeing all sides of the story as well. Not everything that happened before, during and after the events of the game is entirely revealed, although many hints are given. The player must "connect the dots" and infer the story through dialogue, memos, notes, visual cues, etc. Jennifer's Journey is a really complex issue as Jenniffer alone has repressed her emotional diststiballization throughout the game. Before the game has been released, critics have misunderstood the complexity and ambiguity of Rule of Rose as sexually grotesque. However, that is not the case. Rule of rose exposes the disturbing reality of bullying, Rape, Police neglect, child maltreatment and social Hierarchy.

As we know, Jennifer and her family were on an airship which crashed in the countryside, leaving her the only survivor; she was rescued by Gregory Wilson, a solitary pea-farmer who then used Jennifer as a replacement for his son Joshua who either recently died or never existed) and had her wear boys' clothes and keep short hair and wouldn't let her leave. However soon Jennifer was then discovered by Wendy, a girl from a nearby orphanage who began exchanging letters and notes. Wendy called Jennifer "her prince" because of her boyish appearance at the time. She agreed to help her escape and brought Jennifer back to the Orphanage with her, the two swearings to be forever best friends and companions. This event was a bit disorganized in the game as Jennifer's memory in the game is both delusions mixed with reality. She was then later introduced to the Aristocrat club in the Orphanage that is based on social Hierarchy. There are monthly gifts that all members pursue, and that Jennifer's first initiation was to give a blue butterfly. The club alters the rule from time to time when Jeniffer sends her "gift." The Aristocrats do not accept this and call her pathetic and unworthy and bullies her. Jennifer is considered to be in the bottom of the Hierarchy as she is called a beggar and in the chart. The game also clarifies that power structure is different for people as they always try to frame her for crimes she didn't do and punish her. Even after Jennifer makes it clear that she did not commit this crime. This is evident in how other kids treat her in the game as they would not talk to her and flat out ignore her. To Understand the Aristocrat Club, it is merely an emphasis in the game that it mimics adults' society. However, These kids are not necessarily bad people. They all have been traumatized through a form of abuse by other kids or the adult in the Orphanage. Like Clara from the mermaid princess ark, she was sexually abused by the headmaster around the game and even forms a child with her but forces Clara to abort the baby. Hoffman later targets Diana after Clara's mysterious disappearance. Diana, one of the Aristocrat Club leaders, uses her resentment and frustrations of Hoffman's disgusting treatment towards Jennifer. Amanda, the 2nd in the Hierarchy in the lower club, also had one of the most mistreatments in the game. She is always frightened and paranoid about the treatment of kids with her. This game explores many topics that delve deep into abuse and neglect and different altercations of love as examples of characters within the game like meg and wendy. Wendy is probably the most manipulative person within the game as she presents herself as friendly and caring towards Jenniffer. However, when Jeniffer found Brown (the stray dog), she begins to command the aristocrat to spread rumours about Jennifer and not speak with her making her feel worthless and alone.

Wendy's motive is to get Jenniffer to rely on her and have a reliance on her. However, this backfires when she kills Brown, and Jenniffer, for the first time, stood her ground and began to rebel against her only companion, who was right with her from the very start. Amidst all the disaster, she begins to incite a revenge plan in the middle of the night. A rainy night occurred as Jennifer awakened in her room in the Orphanage. She hears laughter from Amanda and Susan, who beckons her to follow them. Amanda then shoves Jennifer into a place where the Red Crayon Aristocrat Club asks her to be the new "Princess of the Rose". Before Jennifer can decline, Susan sees Wendy outside the Orphanage. The girls prepare to go outside and humiliate Wendy, and they head out of the Orphanage. Jennifer, however, decides to stay inside. Jennifer hears screaming outside and silently stands in fear of what to do. Suddenly, the Orphanage opens the front door, and Jennifer sees that Joshua and Gregory are there, and Gregory is now "Stray Dog". Joshua sets him to attack Jennifer, and after a battle, Brown (symbolically making her stronger) aids Jennifer. After defeating Gregory, Jennifer proceeds outside to find Joshua. Joshua reveals to Jennifer that he is Wendy. She tells Jennifer that she brought Stray Dog for her selfish reasons. Wendy apologizes and gives Jennifer Gregory's gun. Gregory, still alive, kills Wendy and faces Jennifer once more.

After December 1930, Jennifer is the only person yet again alive in the tragedy. She then represses the memory of her childhood until adulthood when she is 19 to finally uncover the tragedy of events that unfortunately transpired during her past. This is the scenario of Rule of Rose as it showcases the main character's complex reality of her mind and how she shaped her traumatic history in the game. The Rule of Rose isn't promoting lesbianism or child violence; it is merely exploring the topics that are considered to be taboo. This game did a fantastic job portraying these themes from visual imagery and soundtrack as it gives the audience a feeling of anxiety and uneasiness throughout the game's narrative point of view. However, It is a shame that the game was banned from multiple countries and is considered to be rare now to this very; this game is simply a masterpiece in storytelling and soundtrack! Not so much about the gameplay mechanics, however.


More Posts

bottom of page