Mulan, les? Britist empire?
A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android
LIONKILLER is a choose-your-own-adventure game made in Twine. Play as Hua Mulan, a young lesbian who is conscripted into the First Opium War against the British Empire. Run a flower shop, kiss a girl, shoot a matchlock rifle, and uncover a military conspiracy! Your actions will lead you to one out of four different endings. Will you get the girl, or will you die an inglorious death?
Gameplay tip: There's more lesbian content if you choose to eat lunch in the store.
Content warnings for misogyny, mentions of drug use, mild sexual content, and descriptions of violence.
All the parts have been compiled into one file. Simply download the file and then open in the browser. Please let me know if anything is broken! I am dedicated to patching any bugs that might arise.
If you're a member of the press, then please see this press kit.
Parts 2 and 3 are funded by Tap by Wattpad. The game is also available on the Tap by Wattpad mobile app on the Play Store and App Store.
Design, writing, art assets, and code by Sisi
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:
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I've been wrung too dry by life to give this amazing game the full review it deserves, but I want to say THANK YOU for making this.
As a Chinese diaspora in a former colony of the empire, I am caught between three worlds: an inheritance I cannot claim, a home that calls me a foreigner and an island with selective memory. All three worlds question my humanity, my choices, my desires and my labour, and it brings me great relief to know that I am not alone, and that stories like mine are worth telling after all.
Please, never stop creating.
Excellent stuff. Really enjoying it so far.
i really enjoyed this, thank you so much for making it! i loved the pacing and how it made me feel like i was visualizing what happened in my mind, vs reading a novel
Lionkiller is one of the most thought-provoking games I have ever played. It is a game that accepts your choices while making it clear you must live with them. It's a game which spoke to my heart and made me feel seen and heard. It's a game which made me think about my own personal history. It's a game which made me think about England's history, which is an unpleasant but important thing to do when it comes to the country of my birth.
Lionkiller is a very beautiful game. I left it more curious and mindful than when I started it. I can't recommend it enough. Some people might think this is a niche experience and turn away from it accordingly, but I can assure you that it's not. Play this game. It's really just super cool.
As a gay Chinese woman born in a territory colonized by the British after the Opium Wars, who grew up with verses of the Ballad of Mulan at the tip of my tongue-
This is a fantastically designed, beautifully told story. Upon reading your post-mortem, I see how much work you put into making the game flow, and it really did. As I read, time passed like nothing at all, and the changing of text in the same sentence such as from "every family has a son" to "every family has a disappointment" was particularly powerful. The emphasis on bound versus unbound feet, the dreams of Peking Opera, the use of Chinese zodiac signs for stat distribution all hit somewhere deep and at home in me that I never realized I wanted.
One thing I noticed was the way that stat increases were marked by the blessings of planets such as Mars and Venus. At first, I was a little bemused by the fact that despite being such a culturally Chinese game, you used the Roman, western astronomical names of the planets instead of Chinese astronomical terms. But at the same time, this little design choice, whether intentional or not, conveyed the sense of the times, with Chinese and Western sensibilities clashing in combat, and the encroachment of the British.
There's lots I could say about this game, but most of all that I long for more of it. It is merit to your design that 7000 words felt so, so short that I found myself repeating the chapter over and over again trying to wring out every last bit of text that I could, and it is a compliment when I say that it still wasn't enough. I wish you all the best in the project in the future, and I hope you get the support and finances to be able to finish it.
Again, thank you.
I'm dead. I can't believe you played this game more than twice because I remember thinking "I would be so lucky if someone played both branches" like WOW THANK YOU
I really appreciate the feedback because I've always imagined LIONKILLER as a game for people to chew slowly! I was surprised that some people found the pacing to be fast, since I like to think that the text is quite dense (Which I credit to my bilingualism. You know written Chinese is efficient and conveys many layers of meaning!). I think most games underestimate how much player time is typically spent "waiting for something dynamic to happen" so I'm glad that you didn't feel like I was wasting your time.
I didn't want to make an "authentically" Chinese game. First of all, I didn't grow up in the mainland. Second of all, "authentic" Chinese historiography trends very male and conservative. I was interested in neither of those things. I think, from my personal experience only, the original Ballad of Mulan is not very empowering. Sacrifice is not empowering (especially for marginalized people), and I tried to provide choices in the game that did not necessitate virtuous sacrifice.
Ultimately, LIONKILLER is a game about valuing women's dreams. Which is why I actually think it's not actually as niche as it looks, lol. I made this game for anyone who was told to put their dream last. I made this game for anyone whose history has been touched by the British Empire (which is most of the world). I made this game for anyone whose lives have been harmed by Confucianism (also a large segment of the world). It is neither pro-Chinese nor pro-British. It is pro-Mulan.
Thank you for playing!
couldn't stop clicking + kissed a girl 10/10 👌