Last night, while I was working on Memories, I came to the realization that the character Alexis wasn’t needed.
Alexis was the daughter of Albert (the butler), and Adalyn (or Lyn, the housekeeper), as well as the sister of Alea (the cook). I used one of the pre-made characters within RPG Maker for her (as well as Albert and Alea; Lyn was made using RPG Maker VX Ace’s character generator). Her character was created when I was trying to round out the number of servants within the house, and at the time it made sense for her to be related to the servant family.
But when I was really thinking about Memories yesterday (and specifically what character from the servants should be in the final cutscene), I realized that there’s no real reason for Alexis to be in the game at all. She served as someone that you brought an item to partway through the game, but that was all she actually did; that function could very easily go to someone else, and probably should, as the other characters do far more for the story. I was sad about this; I had just figured out her character and how she would speak over the last few days (and I liked her – she was upbeat and friendly). But she had to go in service to the overall story and game.
Removing her actually helped me with another character too (her mother, Lyn), who just disappears through most the game. I always assumed Lyn was offscreen in one of the areas you unlock later, which works but seems kind of weak. Having Lyn take over for Alexis makes her far more present within the game.
Thankfully removing Alexis from Memories was relatively easy. All I had to do was change up a few bits of dialogue, and a spot where Lyn appeared in the kitchen, which ended up easier than I expected (I just used Alea for that part instead, which also strengthens the cook’s role within the game). And done! That further cemented that removing Alexis from the game was the right thing to do; the other characters (and the game itself) are now stronger as a result.