Hello everyone! Hallows of Dusky Hallows here, and I'm gonna do my best to provide something of a walkthrough for Sanguine Rose. Writing a full walkthrough is a little tricky, because many of the routes intersect, or have slight variations which are almost unnoticeable, so I'll mostly be focusing on how to unlock all the items in the gallery rather than trying to show every possible story variation.
There's three different types of choices in Sanguine Rose. Story altering, Scene altering, and Expressive. Story altering choices are the ones which decide which scenes play out, and which endings you get. Scene altering choices change the flow of a scene, and unlock different artwork within those scenes, but don't necessarily affect the story in any way. Expressive choices can change how characters interact, or the perspective of a scene, or provide additional information about the world and its characters, but they don't effect the content you unlock and are a means for you to get into the minds of the characters, or to learn about the world. Some choices fall into more than one of these categories, but we'll mostly be focusing on the story altering choices here. With that out of the way, let's go through the game beat by beat.
At the start of the game you have the option to talk to Crow and Glasha before proceeding. This is purely an expressive choice. Although talking to Glasha multiple times here can alter dialogue later in the game, it doesn't affect the scenes that play out of what endings you can get. This is an opportunity for new players to meet the characters and learn a little about their present situation. If you've already beaten the game once and you're fishing for all the content, you can ignore this.
This is the choice that matters, arguably the most important choice in the game when it comes to unlocking all the content. There are several scenes which can only be unlocked by laying low, and several more which can only be unlocked by gathering supplies from Whitewood. More importantly, certain endings depend on this choice. I'll list which scenes are locked to each choice below, but we'll be going into more detail shortly.
- Dining Scene (Feed Carmen)
- Teasing Scene (Be teased by Crow)
- Roman Submissive Scene (Swap shifts with Crow)
- Springs Scene (Send Markus to Woods)
- Abandon Ending - Markus Remains
- Release Ending - Roman Sub
- Poison Carmen Ending
Go to Town:
- Corrupting Crow Scene (Spy on Carmen and Crow)
- Crow Sneaks Out Scene
- Night Shift Scene (Roman works night shift)
- Hatefuck Scene (Argue with Carmen)
- Gwen Scene (Send Markus to Tavern)
- Shibari Scene (Tie up Crow)
- Whoring Scene (Send Crow to Tavern)
- Wholesome Scene (Make love to Crow)
- Abandon Ending - Markus + Crow remain
- Abandon Ending - Wholesome (everyone leaves)
- Meeting Carmen Scene
- Carmen's Anecdotes Scene (Listen to Carmen's stories)
- Negotiation Scene*
- Release Ending - Standard
- Burn Ending (Be Betrayed)
*There is a single gallery item in the Negotiation Scene that only unlocks if you fed Carmen on her knees the night before.1
Regardless of what you choose, Roman will go down to watch Carmen. The first four choices here are all expressive only. These choices can affect dialogue later in the game, but they don't affect the scenes you unlock or the endings in any meaningful way. They're a chance for you to get into the role of Roman and decide what kind of person he is. After the four choices, things go differently depending on which choice you picked at the start.
Laying Low: Glasha and Crow will head into the woods to gather supplies, and you'll have the option to swap with Markus. This lets you skip the Carmen Anecdotes scene if you've already played both versions of it, but otherwise doesn't affect the game. Your choices here won't impact the endings you can get until Roman goes down to feed Carmen later, so if you're on this route just choose whichever options you like.
Go to Town: Glasha will try to persuade you to let her go to Whitewood instead of Crow. If you refuse, you can then offer to swap shifts with her yourself, or you can refuse to swap any shifts. These choices are very important.
- Swap with Glasha yourself: This locks you in to working the Night Shift, which leads to Carmen ambushing you in the night, which begins a cycle of escalating violence between Roman and Carmen until you get the Burn ending. If you pick this option, the game becomes essentially linear until it ends. This is very much a bad end but it also the only way to get the Night Shift and Hatefuck scenes.
- Swap Glasha with Crow: This doesn't change the overall story, but does allow you to spy on Crow and Carmen if you have Crow watch immediately, and then go down to investigate when you hear a noise.
- No swaps: This doesn't change the overall story.
So long as you don't swap with Glasha, the day will progress without any more meaningful choices. At the end of the day, Crow will sneak out and you can either follow her to the tavern and watch her masturbate there, or wait until she returns and watch her masturbate in the attic. Which you pick only affects the images you see and some of the dialogue in future scenes.
If you watch Carmen again during the first day, she'll try to tell you stories. You get very different stories depending on which of these two options you pick, and it can affect dialogue in later scenes, but it doesn't affect which scenes you unlock or how the game ends. I won't be listing all scenes like this, so assume that if a scene's options aren't mentioned in this walkthrough that those choices only affect the scene containing them.
If you're laying low then the first day ends with Roman going down to feed Carmen. Your choices here change how the scene plays out, but one of them changes the rest of the game. You can insist that Carmen gets on her knees, or you can allow her to sit on a barrel. If she eats on her knees, she performs oral on you. If she eats on the barrel, you perform oral on her.
- On her knees: We'll cover it in more detail soon, but this is an essential step to getting the poison Carmen ending.
- On the barrel: If you choose this, then the next day you are woken up by Crow teasing you. What you say and do in the Crow teasing scene doesn't matter except for last choice. When Crow asks what you think of Carmen, saying that "She's fascinating" will prompt Crow to try and swap shifts with you. If you accept, you get the Roman submissive scene and are locked into the Submissive variation of the Release ending. The game becomes linear. If you don't swap shifts, the game plays out almost the same as if you'd fed Carmen on the barrel, but you can't get the poison Carmen ending.
If you're laying low and fed Carmen on her knees then Glasha wakes you up at the start of Day 2. You'll go back and forth a little, and eventually Glasha will ask if you're sure you can trust yourself around Carmen, which gives you these two options. Neither one immediately affects how the game progresses or the scenes you unlock, but the second option, highlighted above, is a necessary step to getting the poison Carmen ending. It doesn't lock you into that route though, so you can pick this option and still choose to not poison Carmen.
So long as you're not locked into one of the linear routes, you'll speak with Carmen during the second day and she'll try to convince you to let her negotiate. This happens whether you lay low or go to town. Exactly how she proposes you listen to her varies depending on the choices you've made, and in the go to town routes she will also ask if you like how she's been corrupting Crow. In any case, you can either approve of Carmen's actions and agree to listen to her, or you can disapprove and refuse to negotiate. This is another choice that matters.
- Refuse Carmen: If you refuse to negotiate, or say you don't want Crow being involved with Carmen, then she stops trying to subtly win you over. This locks you into a variation of the Burn ending and essentially puts you on a linear path, as Carmen begins plotting to kill you rather than seduce her way out. This is pretty much the bad ending.
- Approve/Agree: Agreeing to hear Carmen out doesn't mean you have to side with her. If you're going for the poison Carmen ending, you still need to lure Carmen into a false sense of security. Choosing this option leads to the Negotiation Scene and then the game becomes mostly linear from there until the beginning of day 3, when you get to make your final decision. Most routes have some additional options, which we'll cover now.
- Go to town: Carmen will ask if you want to send Crow out whoring, or if you want to keep her as a pet for you and Carmen to play with. Sending Crow out whoring gives you the option of playing the Whoring Scene at the end of the day, while keeping Crow for yourself gives you the option of the Shibari Scene and unlocks the Wholesome Scene. Additionally, you'll have the option to play an a PoV scene with Markus and Glasha in the tavern. This is the Gwen Scene, and is purely optional. It doesn't affect any of the endings.
- Lay Low: At the end of the day, Crow will go through the supplies Glasha brought back from the woods, and identify something called Red Velum. If you've done everything right to get the poison Carmen ending so far, Roman will pocket the Red Velum. If you're not on the route, they throw it away instead. Additionally, before this occurs, you'll have the choice to play an optional PoV scene with Markus and Glasha in the woods. This is the Springs Scene, and is purely optional. It doesn't affect any of the endings.
So long as you're not locked into one of the linear routes, day 3 begins with Roman musing over his options, and reflecting on what's happened so far. If you've done everything right for the Poison Carmen end then you'll see the above choice. If you choose to finish the mission, you'll be locked into poisoning Carmen. If you choose the other option, you'll fall back into the main route for Lay Low.
In any of the main routes, you'll have the option to either abandon the mission (usually phrased as "cut your losses" or "don't risk the others") or you can release Carmen (usually phrased as "can't leave empty handed" or "they knew the risks"). Almost every route slightly alters how the abandon and release endings play out, at least in terms of dialogue, but the abandon route changes the most. Pay attention to the list of all endings below to see what the variations are and how to get them:
- Abandon (Markus Remains) - Roman, Glasha, and Crow abandon the watchhouse, but Markus remains behind. What becomes of him is unknown. Requirements: Lay Low.
- Abandon (Markus + Crow Remain) - Roman and Glasha leave the watchhouse, but Markus and Crow stay behind. Requirements: Send Crow Whoring.
- Abandon (Everyone leaves) - The whole mercenary gang departs together, leaving Carmen locked in the cellar. Requirements: Wholesome Scene
- Burn (Default) - Roman is betrayed and the watchhouse is destroyed. Requirements: Refuse to negotiate with Carmen
- Burn (Variant) - See above. Requirements: Work the night shift in day one.
- Poison Carmen - Roman gambles everything to beat Carmen. Requirements: Have the Red Velum (see above)
- Release (versions 1,2,3) - Accept Carmen's offer and join her. Dialogue is different depending on whether you're on default Lay Low, Crow Whoring, or Wholesome routes.
- Release (submissive Roman) - Roman serves as Crow's Knight and together they join Carmen. Very similar to standard Release. Requirements: Roman Submissive Scene (swap shifts with Crow)
I hope this helps those of you looking to unlock every gallery item!