>And there's no harm in unavoidable scenarios where you can reload with no repercussions.
This, I'll grant.
>Are you actively trying to understand where you're mistaken? If not, this is a waste of time.
Are you actively trying to understand why voters have hemorrhaged from the story, as the post that prompted this conversation complained about? Several people gave reasons on why they dropped it, but I'd bet a fair number felt like >>23273 after the scene in question - I certainly did! Confusing the entire readerbase with a badly-done scene and then trying to excuse it by going "Oh, it's okay guys, you can just reset, besides, Hard Mode's meant to be unfair" doesn't instill confidence in the author or the story. I can accept unfair difficulty, but there's a difference between unfair and cheating.
>There were hints, as obscure as Undertale's, all over the place: literally everyone reacts to Renko using check and Cirno was stated to be fragile.
>as obscure as Undertale's
Wrong. Undertale pushes Mercy on you essentially every step of the way up to Toriel's fight, but then it doesn't hold your hand when you actually get there and, in fact, tries to goad you into attacking her with how the scene's built up, so you're likely to wind up killing her if you don't stick to your seemingly ineffective pacifist route.
Cirno being noted as fragile, meanwhile, does not make one think "Oh, I suppose my flash of light when I Check things might hurt her eyes and this will kill her dead." That is not a logical train of thought. It's highly illogical, which can work out if things are illogical in general, but otherwise feels like a cheap shot, which it was in this case. Again, 'Unfair Hard Mode' is fine, but this wasn't simply unfair, it's cheating, and people don't like being cheated.
>If you think they weren't enough, you're right. But neither were Undertale's. Unless you were spoiled, you killed Toriel the first time, even though the "hints" existed. This is exactly the same.
But that's wrong, Undertale's hints were enough. I can't speak for myself on this front because I was spoiled, but you can't say that it's literally impossible for people to avoid killing Toriel on their first playthrough. It technically wasn't impossible to avoid killing Cirno either, but here it essentially boiled down to "do you do the thing you have no reason not to do? congrats, you killed the fairy, who will respawn at some point, and the next update will have your main character making a big deal out of this even though she has no reason to assume she's responsible, but apparently it's her fault because the author says so".
You keep drawing false equivalencies to the game and expecting them to convince me that this wasn't badly done, but it was. That's really the ultimate problem here. Renko Checks, Cirno starts melting because of it, then doesn't comment on it at all, doesn't make note of anything really being wrong, just, bam, melts. Not even a little bit of annoyance that Renko's doomed her to a quick respawn. Then Renko feels really bad because Cirno died and it's played as this dramatic thing except, since it doesn't make any sense, it just comes across as dumb.
The scene Does Not Work as written. No amount of saying it's meant to be unfair and confusing and you can just reset and whatnot excuses this. It Does Not Work as written.
The worst part is the base idea is, as I've said, actually clever! But the way it's played out is badly done.
With no regards to quality, the first possible example for a rewrite that springs to mind is this: you pop the Check, see her negative stats, Cirno then melts immediately before she respawns in the same update to complain about you hurting her eyes with the flash. Bang, presto, negative stats are communicated to the readers, as is the idea of Checks being potentially damaging.
Say what you will about whether that's actually good or not, but it gets the point of the scene across in a clear and supposedly humorous fashion, which means people aren't left wondering for several hours just what the hell happened as you try to wring drama out of something nonsensical, which means they don't decide that the story is being stupid and they don't feel like spending more time with it, and ultimately I don't wind up writing way too many words over incredibly dumb things like this.