The story of the game starts with an introduction and explanation of the main character’s adoptive father – a knight who fought valiantly in a war. When the king asks about what kind of reward the hero wants, the knight replies he only wishes for the king to help out the children who ended up as orphans due to the result of the war fights around the kingdom. Of course, the king is a little bit surprised, but our hero – you, tells the king that he will also take care of such orphaned children to give them a chance at a better life. The king then ends up giving the hero a mansion and a nice sum of 500 gold to start this off. Immediately after this happens, a young 10-year-old girl is brought to your home.
To raise her stats you will need to set up a monthly schedule for her, usually split into three segments of 10-day periods, which in total gives 30 days in the given month. You can choose between Education which costs gold and in each different field besides Errantry which doesn’t cost gold, you can actually earn gold, stamina, and EXP points for surviving/defeating enemies, and Etiquette, there are three levels of difficulty each is ended by an exam with different cost, that will boost your Reputation if you complete the test successfully, or you can send your daughter to work – Have her make money, but this option will not raise her stats by more than 2 points in the respective fields.
You also need to be very cautious of her Morale and Fatigue stats. Dropping Morale to 0 will 90% of the time cause her to go astray and in such case, you can only send her to work at the Church as no other place will want to give her work. If her Fatigue gets too high, sometimes even 30 points there is a high risk of her getting sick which will make he unable to work or study. Important to mention is also the fact that if she is sick each of her stats will decrease, but will not drop below 0. But no matter if you Rest or Go on vacation the stats decrease will not stop until she feels better, so save that precious gold, you would want to spend for the vacation. Resting will take just 2 gold per day if the Fatigue is decreasing.
As the game progress and your daughter gets older, new work opportunities will open up. While some only boost certain stats, others also decrease other stats, but this decrease is not shown in the job description after you first work at the specific place of interest.
The last place to unlock is the Sleazy Inn after your daughter hits 16 years old. While the pay looks very tempting at this establishment, I strongly discourage you from sending her to work here as it will put all your hard work into building up other stats in vain and you will earn her one of the worst career ends possible. No one wants to waste almost 2h of gameplay to just get one of the 2 bad endings, right? But no worries there are a lot more good endings.
Ending possibilities and Reputation
There are however 2 great endings – Princess and Queen, but I found them insanely hard to achieve, and most players will probably settle not going for them as they require a very high amount of Reputation which is not possible to obtain by working – this might occasionally give you 1 point if the job is performed without any issues.
Another way to gain a Reputation is Errantry (50 points for reaching the end of the map – not advisable, or you can stand still until the day ends and get 1 point/day and pray you will not get attacked by monsters), go visit the king and here you get a set amount of points for speaking to each person for the first time, completing the Education and Martial arts exams and last option is to attend the Harvest Festival that occurs each year around September and win either the Martial Arts Competition or the Miss Kingdom Contest.
Both require different stats to win and you can only participate in one of them during the year. You have to win 1st/2nd place in the Martial Arts Competition and at least one award in the Miss Kingdom Contest to gain any Reputation points.
In the end, the only downside I saw in Princess Maker Refine was an occasional freeze followed by crashing. But you can easily save the game preemptively so your hard work will not be lost.