Girl of the Bakehouse
Girl of the Bakehouse (面包房少女 ~ Withered) is a Chinese kinetic visual novel (without branching story) made by MICA Team and sold in doujin conventions in 2009. It doesn't use sprites and instead relies on full background illustrations with the text displayed on the bottom. It received a separate release for its soundtrack titled Withered.
MICA made plans to release a sequel and HD version of Bakehouse, but eventually released Codename: Bakery Girl in 2013, an evolved version of Bakehouse with gameplay and a more involved lore and story.
During the First Antarctic War, a battlefield reporter, Mendo, had to stay in a bakery in an occupied town after falling ill. There he met a young girl named Jefuty, and as time passed, he gradually developed feelings for her. Jefuty's parents are killed in a sudden air raid, causing hatred for the Antarctic Army to boil up within her. Mendo discovers that the air raid that killed Jefuty's parents is directly linked with him. At the same time, Jefuty obtains a rifle and prepares to carry out her revenge...
Will she be stopped from carrying out her revenge, or will Mendo join her on a path of no return? Human nature is put to the test in war.
MICA's director and scenarist Yuzhong first shared his work on a visual novel project in April 2008 in a series of posts on Sina Blog, showing in-progress artworks, the title “Epiphyllum~昙花” with the tagline “A girl who performs Siting[sic] Quartet No.14 in D Minor, D.810 “Death and the Maiden” ,but[sic] only by herself forever” and an expected release date of February 2009 for ComiCon 4. The cover and CD soundtrack were announced in a 19 June 2008 post. A 22 December 2008 post jokingly announced PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game with a cover art closer to the final release. A 14 May 2009 post revealed the final title and cover as well as the soundtrack, titled Withered. Mail reservations were open and 400 copies of each were made for ComiCup 4 on 28 May 2009 and ComiCon 4 on 7 June 2009 (despite the copyright on the cover stating 2008). While no concrete figures are known, Yuzhong said he was satisfied with the sales in a 10 June 2009 post.
In a 2 June 2009 post, Yuzhong explained that someone at ComiCup 4 motivated him to create a full-fledged strategy game. In the following years, MICA and Yuzhong would produce the Guns&Girls doujin series and work on a sequel and an HD remaster for Bakehouse, which eventually led to the release of Codename: Bakery Girl in 2013 (see Codename: Bakery Girl#Development history for the full story).