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Chizuru is the protagonist of Hakuoki, also acting as the game's narrator. A girl who was taken in by the Shinsengumi, she came to Kyoto in search of her missing father, a doctor who specializes in Western medicine. An accidental witness to a certain incident shortly after her arrival, she has since been under constant supervision. The Shinsengumi initially debate whether or not they should kill her until they find out who her father is; coincidentally, they are searching for the same man. Eventually, she becomes very close to the captains of the Shinsengumi, and shares in their struggles and tragedy. Though the Shinsengumi has much to hide, many mysteries surround Chizuru as well - dark secrets which she has yet to uncover.
Hakuoki plays like a choose-your-own adventure novel. Choices determine what route you, as the protagonist, take for the rest of the game. Each route is determined by a different character the protagonist can begin a romantic relationship with. You must get your Romance level high enough with a character by choosing different choices which advance the relationship that character has with the protagonist (these events are signified by the falling of petals). This must be done by Chapter 4, otherwise, this will result in a game over and a bad ending (unless you have completed two routes already; this will put you on the Kazama route).
Get a good ending by having a high Romance level with a character by the end of the game. Get a bad ending by having a high Corruption level with a character by the end of the game or choosing the wrong choices. The Corruption and Romance meters can be viewed by opening the game's menu with - view them from time to time to make sure you're on the right track.