Little Princess: Marl Ōkoku no Ningyō Hime 2

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Little Princess:
The Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom 2
Little_Princess_2.png
Developer(s) Nippon Ichi
Publisher(s) Nippon Ichi
Composer(s) Tenpei Sato
Platform(s) PlayStation, PlayStation Network
Release date(s)
  • JP November 25, 1999
  • JP May 31, 2007 (PSN)
Genre(s) Role-playing video game
Mode(s) Single player

Little Princess: Marl Ōkoku no Ningyō Hime 2 (リトルプリンセス マール王国の人形姫2 Ritoru Purinsesu Māru Ōkoku no Ningyō Hime Tsū?) is a Japan-only role-playing video game from the Marl Kingdom series. The game was released three times — once in 1999, once as Little Princess+1: Marl Ōkoku no Ningyō Hime 2 in 2000, and then in the PSone Books series in 2001.[1]

Little Princess takes place twelve years after the epilogue of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, and features several of the same characters. The tactical role-playing game battle system of Rhapsody was discarded for a more traditional RPG battle system.[1] Like its predecessor, Little Princess includes many musical interludes and focuses on the themes of falling in love and fulfilling your dreams.

The game is currently available for download via the PlayStation Store, and is playable on either the PSP or PlayStation 3. The download became available on May 31, 2007, only in Japan.

Plot[edit]

Little Princess starts off many years after where Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure left off. Cornet, having saved Prince Ferdinand in Rhapsody, is now the ruler of Marl Kingdom.[1] They have one daughter, Kururu, named after Cornet's fairy puppet friend/mother. Now twelve years old, Kururu, joined by her best friend Crea Rosenqueen, wants to go on a journey to find her own knight in shining armor.

While taking a walk through the forest, Kururu and Crea are attacked by a dragon and saved by a mysterious boy named Cello, much like how Cornet and Ferdinand met years before. Kururu does not immediately fall in love with Cello (mostly because he calls her "Pumpkin Pants," after her taste in clothing), and initially hates him. Over the course of her quest he repeatedly appears out of nowhere to help her.

Elsewhere, a battle is brewing between the two families of witches—the Marjoly Family (the villains of the first game) and the Akurjo Family. The Akurjo Family is attempting to steal the Shadow of Beauty, a wish-granting gemstone that Marjoly has always treasured (as it is a memento of her first love, Keeldear). To keep the Akurjo Family from taking the jewel, Marjoly breaks it into pieces and scatters the shards across the country. Both of the witch families then begin searching for the shards, each trying to complete the gem first. Kururu, Crea, and Cello are soon involved with the search as well, as Cello needs the Shadow of Beauty to heal his mother's illness. As they work together, Kururu realizes that she is falling in love with Cello.

Once the pieces have all been collected, Kururu gathers the courage to confess her feelings to Cello. The moment she does, it is revealed that Cello's mother is Akurjo, who subsequently teleports away with him.

Kururu, determined not to give up on Cello, battles her way through Akurjo's castle to find Cello. Upon meeting him again, Cello tries to fight Kururu, but finally admits that he loves Kururu as well. He then collapses. Marjoly uses her magic to let Kururu enter Cello's heart to heal him. In this way, Kururu gets to experience his tragic past firsthand.

After the final battle with Akurjo, everyone (including the Marjoly Family) wishes together on the Shadow of Beauty for Akurjo to be healed of her illness. This succeeds, but Akurjo retreats into the Netherworld, saying she needs to cool her head (though Marjoly points out that Akurjo wants to say "thank you", and is just too stubborn to do so). Cello decides to go to the Netherworld to look after his mother, but promises Kururu that he will someday return to her.

Four years later, Kururu and Crea take a walk in the forest (just as they did at the beginning of the game), and again, Cello appears to save them from a dragon.

The game ends there, and its story continues in the second chapter of Tenshi no Present.

Characters[edit]

  • Princess Kurusale Cherie Marl Q[2] (クルセイル・シェリー・マール・Q Kuruseiru Sherī Māru Kyū?), a.k.a. Kururu (クルル Kururu?), is the game's protagonist and the daughter of Cornet and Ferdinand. She has a tendency to sneak out of the castle instead of studying, and is identified by the other characters as a tomboy.[3][4] She has known Crea since they were children.[5] According to Tenshi no Present, she later becomes famous throughout her kingdom as the 'Pumpkin Princess',[6] because her trousers resemble a pumpkin. These trousers are often a source of humour, as some characters refer to her as 'pumpkin pants' to tease her.[7] It seems possible she is a reincarnation of the puppet Kururu from the first game, who had mentioned puppets being reincarnated as something else when they die.
  • Createur Rosenqueen[8] (クレアトゥール・ローゼンクイーン Kureatūru Rōzenkuīn?), commonly known as Crea (クレア Kurea?), is Etoile Rosenqueen's adoptive daughter,[9] although at the start of the game she is unaware of her adoption. In a flashback at one point, it is shown that when Crea was young, the other children often picked on her, teasing her because she did not have a father.[10] However, the first time she met Kururu, Kururu saved her by fighting off the bullies.[11] The two of them became very close friends after that. It is suggested that she is obsessively in love with Kururu.
Near the beginning of the game, Cello occasionally appears to give her cryptic advice and help her. He takes on a larger role after the birthday party of Queen Siegrind, during which he sneaks into the castle and attempts to steal the five treasures that act as a key to Beauty Castle (the home of Marjoly and the Shadow of Beauty). He explains that he needs the Shadow of Beauty to heal his ailing mother, who has a terminal illness. His 'mother', however, is Akurjo, by adoption.
Near the end of the game, Kururu has a vision of the distant past, and through this the player learns Cello's history. It is explained that his parents died in a war with a neighbouring country, and he ended up becoming friends with Kururu's grandmother, Cherie (although, because Cherie and Cello are time travellers, these events are transpiring long before the birth of Kururu's grandfather). When destruction of the Ancient race seemed imminent, Cherie and Cello tried to use the Light of Beauty (a wish-granting jewel related to the Shadow of Beauty) to escape to the future. However, Cello was very anxious over the future, and so his wish was not as strong as Cherie's; they ended up in completely different time periods. Soon after Cello's arrival in the future, he met Akurjo, who decided to adopt him, apparently with the intention of manipulating him for her own purposes.
  • Randy (ランディ・ラフィーネ Randi Rafīne?) is a knight who works at the castle. He became a knight in order to become stronger after the death of his little sister, since he felt guilty over not being able to protect her.[12]
Although Sonia considers him to be weak[13] and often scolds him,[14][15][16] he secretly loves her.[17] In the second chapter of Tenshi no Present, he is engaged to Sonia,[18] and as of the sixth chapter of the same game, they are married and expecting their first child.[19]
  • Sonia Francis Zeolight (ソニア・フランセーズ・ゼオライト Sonia Furansēzu Zeoraito?) is a female knight and Geo's daughter. She is popular amongst the people of Mothergreen, particularly the women,[20] and possesses her own fan club,[21] but shows little interest in romance.[22] Though she treats Kururu strictly,[23][24][25] some of her thoughts and flashbacks indicate that Sonia does care about Kururu, and that she wants for the princess to grow up properly and follow her dreams. This is partially because Sonia feels that her own dream (succeeding her father as a knight) was difficult to realise,[26] and that one can't be pampered if they are trying to achieve something.[27]
In the second chapter of Tenshi no Present, she is engaged to Randy; however, financial concerns[28] prevent them from holding the wedding until sometime after the end of the chapter. In the sixth chapter, Sonia and Randy inform Geo of Sonia's pregnancy, news he takes joyfully.[29]

Gameplay[edit]

Like Rhapsody, Little Princess is an RPG. Characters join the party, level up, equip things, etc. The player controls Kururu around different areas. There are multiple difficulties, but the game over all is viewed as more challenging than Rhapsody.[1]

Battle[edit]

Battle scene

The battle system has changed drastically from Rhapsody's tactics style fights.[1] Little Princess features a more traditional RPG, turn-based battle system, with the enemy characters on the left-hand side of the screen and the player characters on the right. Unlike the battle system in Rhapsody (in which one controlled the game's main character and three puppets or monsters), only human characters fight. Puppets are equipped to specific characters, and are used to cast magic; instead of MP (magic points), money is taken with each spell in small amounts.[1] Furthermore, a character's equipped puppets receive experience in battle and level up at roughly the same rate as the player, regardless of whether they are actually used in battle. Each time the player uses a puppet, a note is added to the musical staff on the battle screen; when a full bar is completed, the number to the right of the staff increases by one and the notes are cleared, allowing the player to fill up more bars with notes. When enough bars have been completed, the player can use a variety of attacks known as "Rewards" (ごほうび gohōbi?), which subtract varying amounts of completed bars from the player's total. A predecessor of the Reward system was present in the previous game; however, in Little Princess, one receives notes after using puppet magic (rather than after playing the trumpet to boost the puppets' statistics), since the central character of Little Princess cannot play her trumpet in battle. As only two of the game's characters are able to equip and use puppets, most human characters have special skills or techniques equivalent to magic, and one character is able to use monsters (which can be captured after battle, as in Rhapsody) in much the same way as puppets.

Legacy[edit]

Along with Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure and Tenshi no Present: Marl Ōkoku Monogatari, this game is part of the Marl Kingdom series, a Nippon Ichi series. Little Princess maintains the emphasis on musical numbers and themes of love introduced in Rhapsody, as well as the anime inspired, bright graphics,[1] which are used in several later Nippon Ichi games. Unlike Rhapsody, Little Princess was never released outside of Japan, possibly due to Rhapsody's low level of mainstream popularity.

Currently there is an active forum on NIS America requesting Marl Ōkoku no Ningyō Hime 2 and Tenshi no Present - Marl Oukoku Monogatari on the NIS request forum. It is believed that with enough support the games will be licensed, but NIS Americas response to this is currently unknown.

A version of the game was released on mobile phones.

PlayStation Store[edit]

The game was made available for download via the PlayStation Store on May 31, 2007. However, the download was only available in Japan, and there is no word of bringing it to North America.

Soundtrack[edit]

A soundtrack for the game's music was released on March 8, 2000.[30] The music, like in the other Marl games, was handled by Tenpei Sato.

Tracklist:

  1. Little Princess ~ Main Theme
  2. Princess Kururu
  3. Marl's Lane
  4. Wonderful World
  5. Daydream
  6. A Tomboy Princess
  7. Starting Over
  8. Because We Are Always Together
  9. Winged Boy
  10. The Way of Making Good Soft Cream
  11. Mothergreen
  12. Let's Go Walking ~ Etoile's Love
  13. It's...the Front of the Back?
  14. A Customer's Here!
  15. Kururu's Memories
  16. Evil Queen
  17. Puppet Crisis
  18. The Karkanskys and the Baknekoffs
  19. Rosen Queenland
  20. The Little Princess' Decision ~ Sending My Thoughts into Eternity
  21. Hysteric Ceremony
  22. We are the Witch-Tribe
  23. Eyes of the Princess
  24. First Love
  25. Uru-uru Kururu
  26. Under the Rule of the Soldier
  27. Sky-Palace of the Witches
  28. The Law of the Noble Flower
  29. Last Dance
  30. The Little Princess' Decision ~ So That Thoughts May Be Handed Down Through Generations

Reception[edit]

On release, Famitsu magazine scored the game a 30 out of 40.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Karl Kalata. Marl Kingdom at Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2007-10-7
  2. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (2000). Angel's Present. PlayStation 2. Nippon Ichi Software. "Kururu: "My name is Kurusale Cherie Marl Q, and right now I am the princess of Marl Kingdom."" 
  3. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Gio: "In any case, it's troubling that the princess is such a tomboy."" 
  4. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Letter From Cornet: "To Kururu, seeing as you're such a tomboy I'm sure you'll find this treasure chest."" 
  5. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (2000). Angel's Present. PlayStation 2. Nippon Ichi Software. "Young Kururu: "Today I made friends with a girl named Crea."" 
  6. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (2000). Angel's Present. PlayStation 2. Nippon Ichi Software. "Kururu: "Recently, it seems like just about everyone has been calling me the "Pumpkin Princess."" 
  7. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Cello: "I said leave this forest and never come back... Pumpkin Pants."" 
  8. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Crea: "Indeed. I am Etoile RosenQueen's daughter, Createur RosenQueen."" 
  9. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Crea: "I-it can't be...Mother is...she's not my real mother..."" 
  10. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Bullies: "Hah, hah! Mom said that your Mom was a "player" ! She said that nobody know who's your father!"" 
  11. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Child Kururu: "Hey you there! I won't let you bully her! I'm going to punish you!"" 
  12. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Kururu: "You probably don't know about it, but Randy had a little sister named Linda. She was attacked by monsters and killed... It crushed Randy's spirit. He was upset that he couldn't protect his sister. He decided to learn fencing, but it was hard for him."" 
  13. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Sonia: "You... spineless... URGH! Stand up straight! H-how could someone like you become a Knight?!"" 
  14. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Sonia: "Giving in to every little whim she has! You're just as responsible for this as she is!"" 
  15. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Sonia: "You get so upset whenever something like that happens to the Princess, but you're too lenient with her. Don't forget that. There is a limit to how kind you should be with your companions."" 
  16. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Sonia: "However, you've still got a long way to go as a knight."" 
  17. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Servant: "I heard a rumor that Randy likes the knight's captain, Sonia."" 
  18. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (2000). Angel's Present. PlayStation 2. Nippon Ichi Software. "Sonia: "Randy wants to hurry up and get married, but there's no need to rush."" 
  19. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (2000). Angel's Present. PlayStation 2. Nippon Ichi Software. "Geo: "Then the grandchild I've been waiting so long for is on its way!"" 
  20. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Statue of Sonia: "This was made by the Sonia fan club."" 
  21. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Sonia: "I am not interested in either marriage or children."" 
  22. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Sonia: "Kids shouldn't be spoiled."" 
  23. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Sonia: "I'm the Captain of the knights. My job isn't to be 'nice'."" 
  24. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Crea: "That's true. She [Sonia] is a strict woman."" 
  25. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Sonia: "This is my dream!! I won't be defeated! I will become a knight!"" 
  26. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (1999). Little Princess. PlayStation. Nippon Ichi Software. "Sonia's thoughts: "When pursuing one's dream, whether a woman or a child, one can't be pampered. The princess will understand that one day..."" 
  27. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (2000). Angel's Present. PlayStation 2. Nippon Ichi Software. "Randy: "I also want to get married soon. But I really have to get the money for the ceremony... I really should have started saving."" 
  28. ^ Nippon Ichi Software (2000). Angel's Present. PlayStation 2. Nippon Ichi Software. "Geo: "What are you so embarrassed about? This is wonderful news!"" 
  29. ^ http://www.rpgfan.com/soundtracks/puppet-2/index.html Retrieved 2007-11-7
  30. ^ プレイステーション - リトルプリンセスマール王国の人形姫2. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.22. 30 June 2006.

External links[edit]