When it comes to otome games, and really visual novels in general, there always tends to be one “right” route. You can pursue different bachelors and see alternate storylines, but one is more “real” than the others. With Hakuoki, you’re only getting the full story if you romance Toshizo Hijikata. In Amnesia, chasing after Ukyo shows what really put the heroine in her precarious situation. It’s a consequence of the genre and why I recommend that anyone who wants the full story in Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ send Cardia off with Lupin once his route unlocks.
All of the routes in Code: Realize are informative in their own way. Saint-Germain’s is full of some surprising insight about the in-game world and its history. Van Helsing and Impey are great if you want to learn more about vampires. I’m a big fan of Victor myself, and what his tale tells about Cardia’s father. But there’s one route that helps you understand the whole story and nature of Cardia’s unique situation, and that’s Lupin’s. It touches on everything. Naturally, this means it’s also the one route that is locked until Cardia has dated other men.
Fortunately, it’s also a generally entertaining route and the game is interesting enough to merit playing repeatedly for the full story. Lupin is a well-rounded bachelor, one who would appeal to many “types.” It feels as though this was done purposely, as characters like Saint-Germain and Van Helsing cater to more specific tastes. Saint-Germain is for people who like their heroes a little crazy, and Van Helsing is for women who like their men tormented. Lupin is a generally kind and entertaining man, consistently showing he has Cardia’s best interests at heart. In the very beginning of Code: Realize, he promises to grant Cardia’s wish of being able to touch other people. It seems only fitting that his storyline be the one where every loose end is resolved.
You still have to work for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, though. Getting on Lupin’s path is one part of solving the puzzle that is Code: Realize. In some of the other bachelor’s storylines, both the true and regular endings are varying degrees of happy. With Lupin, you get one chance to know it all and see the best possible outcome for both characters. I recommend keeping a few save files to ensure every choice you’ve made is a wise one.
Keep this in mind, should you grab Code: Realize when it debuts today. There’s a reason Cardia and Lupin are on the cover. Those two are canon, even if Victor, Impey, Van Helsing, and Saint-Germain are all equally cute.