Moon: Remix RPG Adventure

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Moon: Remix RPG Adventure
Moon - Remix RPG Adventure Coverart.png
Developer(s) Love-de-Lic
Publisher(s) ASCII Entertainment
Designer(s) Kenichi Nishi (director), Yoshiro Kimura (scenario), Taro Kudou (scenario)
Artist(s) Kazuyuki Kurashima
Composer(s) Hirofumi Taniguchi, Miki Higashino, Taro Kudou, Masanoff Adachi, others
Platform(s) PlayStation
Release date(s)
  • JP October 16, 1997
  • JP November 5, 1998
(re-release)
Genre(s) RPG
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution CD-ROM

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure (ムーンリミックスRPGアドベンチャー Moon Rimikkusu RPG Adobencha?), usually referred to simply as Moon, is a 1997 role-playing video game developed by Love-de-Lic and published by ASCII Entertainment. The game was first released on October 16, 1997, and was re-released as part of the PlayStation the Best line on November 5, 1998. The game was directed by Kenichi Nishi.

Although the game was apparently featured prominently at E3 in 1997 with plans to release the game the following year, ASCII decided not to release Moon outside Japan.[1][2] The game was advertised shortly afterward for a US release in GamePro magazine,[3] but was never published by another company. Despite its critical praise as a role-playing game that defies convention in its own genre, Moon remains an extremely obscure Japan-exclusive title. An English fan translation has been attempted before and stalled[4] but is currently in the process of being translated by a new team.[5]

Gameplay[edit]

Time[edit]

Time follows a set calendar that runs in real time. The Day Of The Sun, a day off, is the equivalent to Sunday. The Day Of The New Moon is like Monday, The Day Of The Bonfire, Tuesday, The Day Of The Tear, Wednesday, The Day Of The Leaves, Thursday, The Day Of The Neka (Real Moon’s currency), Friday, and The Day Of The Echo is like Saturday. The world’s inhabitants (and the animal’s souls, too) follow their own regular schedules each week.

Soul Catching[edit]

Hero leaves behind the corpses of the animals he’s murdered all over the world. Boy must catch the soul that manifests, whereupon the soul is whisked away to the Moon and the Boy obtains “Love.” A soul appears during a certain time of day each week.

Love Catching[edit]

The player increases Boy’s Love Level by discovering the secret wishes of Real Moon’s people. Boy must then grant the idiosyncratic wishes of each person. Sometimes Love comes from readily apparent events, but there are secret and time-limited events Boy must fulfill.

Growth[edit]

“Love” grows by levels. The player preserves progress by going to bed and entering a dream state. By leveling up Boy, the time he can exist in the world (his “action limit”) increases. When Boy’s “action limit” falls to 0, it’s game over.[6]

Other Items[edit]

In the game, the player can change the background music at nearly any time. One can purchase or find “MoonDiscs” (M.D.), each of which grants 1 new song performed by commercial artists. Some locations, of course, have programmatic music. The player can also collect other special items. “Name cards” are cards featuring the in-game characters, which reveal information and hints about their background and wishes. “Chips” are integral to the game’s story. They act as sacred texts that reveal the past, the present, and the future of Real Moon. The player must divine what to do based on the words and pictures featured on the chips.

Plot[edit]

In RPGs up until Moon: Remix RPG Adventure, the “hero” has been a hero. However, the “Hero” who appears in the world of Moon kills innocent monsters (referred to as “animals” in the game), breaks into other people’s homes to burgle various items and harass residents, and is generally troublesome whenever he appears. The role of the protagonist, “Boy,” is to free the souls of the animals that the hero has slain and touch the hearts of the world’s strange, warmhearted inhabitants. To grow, one must level up one’s Love. The major theme is woven into the story, so one must be thoughtful to see the game’s true ending.

Premise[edit]

Moon begins with the protagonist, a small boy, playing a new RPG called "Moon" (a.k.a. "Fake Moon") on his "Gamestation." The game begins with the player controlling the Hero of Fake Moon in a 10-minute game-within-a-game, Fake Moon being something of a parody of Japanese RPGs of the 16-bit era.[7] Convoluted JRPG stories are skewered by the minutes of nonsensical backstory, which Boy skips through before the player can read it. Queen Aphrodite has been abducted and taken to the moon. The perpetrator, Dragon, will wreak millions of calamitous years upon the people of Love-De-Gard with her power. Yet, the people have produced a hero who must travel to Dragon Castle and destroy the beast. After playing through a few typical RPG scenes (random battles, an airship sequence, etc.), the boy is ordered by his mother to go to bed and obediently does so. However, the television on which he was just playing Fake Moon switches back on by itself, and the boy is sucked into the world of Moon, a land called "Love-de-Gard." Its people and its story resembles Fake Moon’s.

Setting[edit]

The player must explore a vast world named Love-De-Gard. A dragon has swallowed the moonlight, threatening calamitous consequences. Castle Love-De-Gard houses the King’s room, the Minister’s room, the throne room, hallways, the balcony, the soldiers’ room, and the King’s toy room. In Castle Town, Boy finds Fountain Square, a floristry, a general store, a bakery, a bar, and Yoshida’s home. At Rainbow Rocks, there is Granny’s house, Tao’s hiding place, the rainbow machine, and Boy’s house (which was formerly Nikka’s and Pokka’s house). In Tropical Field, one discovers Whaleshell Cove, Ossan’s Cave, Tamaya’s, American House, Windmill Hermitage, and Eco-Club Headquarters. One sees, in the Valley Of The Wind, Valley Of The Wind, Twilight Canyon, Splitting Sunbeam Road, and Wildcat House. There is Mushroom Forest, which contains Burrn Hall, Adder’s House, Mushroom Forest itself, and a haunted house. Within Technopolis, Boy sees Doctor Steinhager’s office, Technopolis proper, Club Techno, the V.I.P. Room. Bali Bali is its own location, as is the moon.

Characters[edit]

Because the game is open-ended and only proceeds 1 vignette at a time, a plot summary must be tied to the game’s characters.

Hero

Hero is the main character of Fake Moon. Hero has begun a journey to slay the dragon that is said to have devoured the moonlight. He continuously murders docile animals in order to gain experience levels. He also clashes with everyone around him, rambles about how “I cannot reach the last dungeon,” in a restaurant, and harasses the important and the lowly in their homes while looking for items or animals. He seems to have forgotten his identity from earlier in the adventure because of his “Cursed Armor.” Hero will share the same name with Boy in the game, though the official strategy guide calls him “Ziegfried.”

At Tao’s hiding place, Boy can find a white-feathered arrow. Tao mistook it for a bone. Although the arrow is depicted on a chip, the item has no use, it is not explained in Moon’s official book, and nearly no one in the game knows what it means. It’s an analogue to the legend of Kuzuryuu. In that story, a dragon terrorized a village, demanding a sacrifice. The townspeople chose one by firing a white-feathered arrow into the air. The house it landed on would be forced to provide 1 person as a sacrifice (the phrase remains in the Japanese language today). The chancellor, in accordance with the chip, did something similar, hoping that the chosen would be able to save the moon and restore its light. Since Tao has the arrow, Granny was told her grandson was “deceased,” and Hero seems to have no past, we are to deduce that Hero is Granny’s grandson. Furthermore, Hero lost his memory and control of his actions due to donning the Cursed Armor. The player is responsible for doing this during the Fake Moon sequence. In essence, the entirety of Moon: Remix RPG Adventure is the player (as Boy) atoning for the lives the player had previously destroyed (during Fake Moon).

The Hero's name is the same as the name you chose for yourself but written in katakana. It is implied during the endgame that the Hero and the Boy are two sides of the same character.

Boy

Moon’s protagonist is Boy. While playing his new RPG, “Moon,” he is drawn through the television screen into Love-De-Gard. He is forced to wander through the world of Moon. His body becomes transparent and will fade from existence should he exhaust his action limit. After borrowing clothes, he appears as a floating hat, jacket, gloves, and shoes. Yet, he only concerns himself with making others “become human.” Hero has murdered the world’s animals and furthered discord among its people, so now Boy must quest to revive what was lost. Furthermore, he must understand why and how Moon will die.

Boy gathers that he must “open the door” to save Love-De-Gard. By demonstrating virtuous behavior, saving animal’s souls, and fulfilling the population’s wishes, he gradually builds his Love Level. When it is sufficiently full and he has gathered the rocket’s missing components, he prepares to fly to the moon. Before doing so, Boy discovers that his presence has not altered reality; Real Moon remains artifice. It’s a plane suspended between upper and lower bounds (like that of a CD-ROM in a PlayStation 1), though Boy and the people of Love-De-Gard feel like they can control its fate. After a successful but disastrous journey, Boy reaches the moon. He discovers a vibrant world teeming with the animals he resurrected, as well as the true nature of the Moon Queen and the dragon. Moon was never in danger of being physically annihilated, only of “becoming a dream” (i.e., being turned off and forgotten). He must choose whether the dragon is defeated or the door is opened. However, Boy cannot open the Door Of Light he finds, and all despair. Yoshida appears from the rocket’s hold, followed by the stowaway Hero. He immediately murders everyone on the moon (“leveling up” after using special slash attacks and “O-Mete”) and confronts Boy, Moon Queen, the dragon, Mutsujiroo, and Yoshida at Dragon Castle. Hero slays everyone inside but Boy. Boy has enough time to hear his dying friends urge him, “hold within you more love than levels” before Hero kills him. Suddenly, Boy’s mother yells at him to quit playing, because it’s morning. Boy wakes from inside his home in front of his television. It appears that he may have been dreaming. Boy picks up the controller, and the player must choose “Yes” or “No” from the continue screen. This functions as a test to see whether the player has grasped the game’s themes and message. If the player chooses to continue, he receives the bad ending, in which Boy is drawn back into the doomed game world forever. If the player chooses not to continue, Boy walks outside (through the “door of light”) to put into action the lessons Moon taught him. The good ending shows different open doors (presumably, those of the people playing Moon: Remix RPG Adventure), urging the player to do the same. Back in Real Moon, the Door Of Light opens, and all of the game’s characters and animals (even those killed) stand before the illuminated doorway. As the credits roll, the characters have joined the real world, echoing the developers’ hopes that players will apply Moon’s themes even after they’ve stopped playing the game. Indeed, the final images are a bargain bin filled with copies of the in-game “Moon,” labeled, “Sorry. As per a written request by the makers, we are no longer selling the video game ‘Moon,’” and the lines, “Have you found love? Sometime, someplace, may we meet again. Now, turn off the game, for heaven’s sake!”

Granny

Granny, an old, tenderhearted blind woman, lives alone on the outskirts of town. She only has a dog named Tao to accompany her after she lost her grandchild in an accident. She mistakes Boy for her grandson (whom she believes is alive) because they have the same name. She makes homemade cookies for Boy each and every day.

Granny becomes severely ill during the game. Though she has cared for Boy throughout the game, she resigns herself to death and merely asks that Boy care for Tao. Boy can see that an animal’s soul is cursing her. The player eventually helps Tao call the soul away from Granny, saving her life. Though she previous dwelt entirely inside her home, her newfound vigor and love for Boy helps her take strolls during the day.

Tao

Tao (named and designed after Kenichi Nishi’s actual dog, who also appeared in skip Ltd.'s Giftpia, Chibi-Robo! and Captain Rainbow) is Granny's black-and-white-colored male dog. It tends to gather items from all over and bury them in his secret hiding place. Amusingly, Tao appears as the enemy character “Mad Dog” in Fake Moon. He flees before he can be killed, so the beginning of Real Moon shows Hero chasing it again.

Granny gives Tao to Boy following her terminal curse, and hopes that he will train Tao well. Tao eventually learns how to sit, lie down, and call. He calls the animal soul away from Granny’s bed, delivering her from her illness. His hiding place also contains a white-feathered arrow.

King Love-De-Gard XIII

Love-De-Gard XIII is the leisurely king of Castle Love-De-Gard. His plan to save Love-De-Gard differs greatly from his minister’s. Originally, his plans (drawn in crayon) include using 100 birds to carry him to the moon to resolve the coming catastrophe and using extremely potent fireworks to illuminate the sky in the absence of the moonlight. He’s good friends with Gase, thanks to their enjoyment of birds.

After Boy’s and Yoshida’s criticisms, he decides to finance Doctor Steinhager’s spaceflight project. He even contributes his own ideas. 1 day, he decides to live like a pauper for a day, so he and Gase switch places. Unfortunately, Minister prevents the homeless “Gase” from entering the premises. Boy distracts Minister by annoying him in a different way, allowing Gase and King Love-De-Gard to switch clothes again. King Love-De-Gard learned nothing from the experience. He watches proudly as Boy’s rocket soars through the sky.

Minister

Minister single-handedly bears responsibility for financial and governmental affairs at Castle Love-De-Gard. He’s forced to manage everything for himself with little assistance from the king. His line had cared for the royal family’s garden for generations, and he doesn’t like people touching the topiaries. He is willing to sacrifice more or less anything for his country, because he truly cares about it.

Despite Minister’s frazzled appearance and grasps at power, he simply wants an efficient government for the citizens. Boy must find Minister’s Justice Department report, after which Minister curtly thanks him and returns to pulling political levers.

Ibirii

Ibirii (that is, a reference to a stressed wife and the name “Billy”) is a soldier at Castle Love-De-Gard. He sometimes goes to drink at the bar. He is divorced, and lives far away from his wife and son. On a Day Of The Sun long ago, he and his family made a promise that he’d give his son a crash course in flying model airplanes.

He spends his Days Of The Sun unsuccessfully flying them, because his son never shows up. With Boy’s encouragement, he gradually gets better. After a while, young Noji notices the lonely guard’s habit. Being an expert in toys, he shows Ibirii how to maximize his airplane’s flight. Ibirii gets it to fly for a gloriously long time, and, in the moment, develops a fatherly affection for the boy. Noji reminds him of his own son. Furthermore, Noji spends his remaining days chirping about how his dad will show up soon, paralleling Ibirii’s misguided hopes about his family. However, Ibirii sees Noji and his father reunite. Ibirii confides to Noji that he’ll be heartbroken for a bit, but that Noji gave him a new, happy memory whenever he wakes up on a Day Of The Sun. They bid each other an emotional farewell.

Fred

Fred (named after Freddie Mercury) is a soldier at Castle Love-De-Gard. He patrols the castle with a microphone in hand. At night, he trains his voice in the castle, because he aims to become a musician. This prevents him from getting enough sleep each night.

Boy did not know the extent to which Fred practiced, though. When everyone is asleep, Fred turns the throne room into a stadium rock-like stage, dresses in a leotard and crown, and delivers a bombastic performance. After singing for Boy, Fred walks back to his room a god; Boy watches him in awe.

Noji

Noji (as in the character “Geno” from Super Mario RPG, designed by many of the same people) is the prince of a country of toys who’s studying abroad. He’s immensely interested in what boys play in the “real world;” specifically, he wants to see the “Geeste.”

That turns out to be a “Gamestation” like that of Boy’s. He finds one for Noji, who prepares for his father’s return. While waiting, Noji helps Ibirii properly fly his model airplanes. Ibirii had promised he’d teach his own son to fly them, so he develops a similar relationship with Noji. Noji’s father schedules his arrival, but Noji worries about how Ibirii will feel. When Noji’s father arrives, Noji wonders about Ibirii’s wellbeing. With Ibirii’s reassurance, they say their emotional goodbyes.

Yoshida

Yoshida (possibly like the exclamation or the type of college) is a self-styled intellectual bird who talks in a Kansai dialect. He is also an honored citizen of the island of Bali Bali, and is the herald for its king. It knows Boy’s true identity. It manages a travel agency behind the bar, and it’s a keen observer of Love-De-Gard.

Yoshida wants a real college education, but he’s afraid to go alone. Boy accompanies him to Mister Owl’s Midnight University. After 4 rigorous courses, Yoshida celebrates his newfound intellectual validity (and makes sure people know it).

Curio

Curio (like the English word) is a man whose life is zealously devoted to buying and selling every sort of item. He’s an ambitious, unscrupulous man who dreams of making a fortune in the goods trade.

Instead, Boy drives a hard bargain to get a special item, earning Curio’s grudging respect.

Baker

Baker (again, as in English) is the owner of his own bakery. He’s a timid character, but his bread has no rival. He keeps his store locked securely after business hours are over. He drinks on The Day Of The Echo.

If Boy follows him to the bakery that day, Baker forgets to lock his door. In the back, Boy discovers Baker’s terrible secret: Baker’s head is made of delicious bread. It grows stale after too long, so each night, he makes himself a new bread head and places the old one out for sale. All of this is played as melodramatic parody of JRPG plot twist revelations. Boy keeps his secret safe.

Flora

Flora (a reference to plant classification) is the daughter of a florist. She lodges at the 2nd floor of Wanda’s bar. Flora’s father, Florence, has gone missing. She takes real interest in the wellbeing of others.

With Boy’s help, Flora’s music revives desert flowers, bringing them to bloom in harsh conditions and spreading her love a bit further. She later professes her love for Gase, seeing the good man behind the rags and rudeness.

Wanda

Wanda (sounds like “wonder” or “wander;” the former a reference to her and the latter a reference to her husband) is the owner and “mom” of the bar. She is quite fat and doesn’t move from behind the counter, but when she was young, she was extremely sexy. She also gives great advice, as is required of bartenders. She doesn’t reveal much about herself, though.

Boy finds Wanda’s missing ring. Thereafter, she relates how she lost her love, Florence, to mushroom addiction and insanity. Though her heart still aches, she asks Boy to give her ring back to Florence. Without it, she begins to mend her broken heart. However, Florence returns to her by game’s end, and they begin again.

Gase

Gase (Japanese for something fake or nonsensical) is a homeless man who sleeps in front of the plaza’s fountain. He curses often to bolster his reclusive reputation, but he actually harbors affection for someone. He also enjoys birds, which bonds him with King Love-De-Gard.

1 day, King Love-De-Gard wants to live like a pauper, so the coarse Gase assumes control over the land of Love-De-Gard. Minister prevents the king from returning to his rightful place until Boy distracts him, letting Gase return to a much more comfortable life. Sometime afterward, Boy overhears Yoshida’s attempts to convince Gase to reveal his feelings to Flora. Gase refuses, but Boy later discovers rather eloquent love letters thrown in Curio’s garbage. When Boy delivers them to Flora, she immediately presents a letter of her own. Upon opening it, Gase finds that she feels the same way and momentarily lets out his glee.

Nikka And Pokka

Nikka and Pokka (that is, “knickerbocker”) are 2 absurdist characters. Nikka used to be a master carpenter apprenticing Pokka. Now, he stands around all day asking non sequitur questions like, “What is love, really?” and, “What should I do if my partner’s a pervert?” Pokka used to be Nikka’s partner, but he develops a creepy affection for binding himself to signposts.

1 day, when Boy comes along, Nikka gets the nagging impulse to go around digging holes. This affliction makes him dig holes every day for no real reason. Nikka and Pokka’s peculiar actions parody JRPG conventions, in which some characters (Nikka) exist solely as line-spouting plot devices and others (Pokka) are bound to the same spot and repeat the same lines of dialogue. Nevertheless, their home becomes Boy’s after their parts are played, and they’ll give special items to Boy during the game.

Matsukata Gamakatsu

Matsukata Gamakatsu (an actor featured in a Japanese fishing video game and the name of a famous fishhook maker, respectively) is an angler who loves offering fishing lessons or a fishing contest to anyone who passes by. He loves fishing so much that his “dream self” goes fishing while he sleeps.

He’s competitive, but only because he thinks it elevates rivals. When Boy wins his fishing contest, he’s extremely proud of him.

Ossan

Ossan (the Japanese slang term for a nondescript older man) resides in a cave, where he usually sells a teleportation item known as an “octopus kiss.” He’s afflicted with chronic insomnia.

Ossan’s afraid to sleep because an animal’s soul eats his dreams. After administering a dreamless sleep (via chloroform) to Ossan, Boy catches the soul, which allows Ossan to rest and reopen his shop.

Heikichi, Utako, And Tooru Tamaya

Heikichi, Utako, and Tooru Tamaya (Heikichi is a fireworks brand, “Uta” conjures images of a soothing song, while their child’s name references his piercing crying; their last name is that of 1 of Japan’s first fireworks experts who is said to have burned down a part of old Tokyo) are a family who live in a cylindrical house wallpapered with newsprint. They’re trying to make up for a past failure by creating an extremely potent firework at the king’s request.

Boy helps Heikichi build “Heikichi’s 100-Foot Ball,” the ultimate firework. Heikichi is finally satisfied with his craftsmanship, but his perfectionism leads him to frustration mere days later. Utako acts as his anchor, reminding him that they can get through any problem together. Heikichi recognizes her wisdom, and, inspired by the moment, continues to persist and perfect for his family.

Papas, Mamas, And Daia

Papas, Mamas, and Daia (the familiar Latin words, of course, and then a term for “diamond,” which may be a reference to the American comics distributor) look and act like an American family. Daia, the daughter, is obsessed with her pet, Perogon. Mamas appears to manage the home perfectly and Papas is a comics creator. Papas used to draw very popular Japanese- and American-style comics, including “Scawn,” “Platina Surfer,” and “X-Man.” The comic he’s stuck on resembles Dragon Ball.

Mamas is a bit of a consumerist. She also detests Doctor Steinhager. She paid him to build a housekeeping robot for her, because she was not very good at it. Unfortunately, she only paid for a Black Badge membership, not a Gold Badge membership. Doctor Steinhager kept her money, anyway, so she learned the skills for herself. Boy relieves her of the badge, so she isn’t reminded of her experience. Papas and Mamas celebrate Daia’s birthday 1 day, giving her a stuffed animal of the Perogon she adores so much. Hero crashes the party to slay Perogon, at which time Boy realizes that this is 1 of Fake Moon’s vignettes. The player must help Boy don the stuffed animal as a costume, making Hero think that Perogon has divided. Then, Boy must set himself aflame in the family fireplace to make Hero think Perogon’s reached its ultimate form. Hero tears through “Perogon” and leaves. Boy, saved by the doll’s copious stuffing, receives Daia’s gratitude. Papas, inspired by these events, breaks his writer’s block. Of course, in “Hero Man,” Hero saves the family from a bloodthirsty Perogon.

Grandpa

Grandpa is a grandfather who passes his days inside a windmill. He’s very suspicious of Western-style culture, so he’s wary of the new family that’s moved next door to him. Even worse, he’s picked up English words from them that he accidentally uses in everyday speech.

After a hostile encounter with Grandpa, who throws him out of his house, Boy sneaks in and discovers that Grandpa adores playing the shamisen. When Boy knocks on his door while playing a shamisen-driven MoonDisc, Grandpa experiences a brief moment of harmony between East and West before slamming his door again.

Umi, Femi, And Momi

Umi, Femi, And Momi (in short, those are Japanese for “sea,” “feminism,” and “fir tree”) are 3 siblings, the entirety of an organization devoted to their pet causes called the “Eco-Club.” Momi threatens legal action for the sake of forest protection, Umi’s concerned with the regulation of aquaculture, and Femi’s lifework is women’s liberation. They always harangue strangers with their infeasible solutions and politicize normal conversation with their favored issues.

If Boy allows them to vent, he earns their love as they stroll away in self-satisfaction.

Bird Man

Bird Man (self-explanatory) is a creepy nihilist who plays guitar while sitting on a cliff’s edge. Passersby who gamble with him must correctly guess the color of the bird that will fly by next.

Bird Man’s attitude means to instill a sense of randomness to Boy’s life. Boy’s participation taught him that some things can’t be predicted or explained. Bird Man says this as he turns to face Boy for the first time, revealing that he actually has a bird’s head.

Kenji

Kenji (whose namesake is the famed Japanese children’s author Kenji Miyazawa) is a picky chef at Wildcat House (hunters who killed animals were punished in an eatery of the same name in The Restaurant Of Many Orders). Diners may only choose from 3 rotating menus, and only 1 person may eat there once per day. He will act like a cat at times (a probable reference to Night On The Galactic Railroad). He was Florence’s friend.

He recalls how he discovered Florence’s mushroom cravings, only to see him mysteriously vanish into thin air soon afterward. He planned to capitalize on Kris’ fame by throwing a fan celebration. Hero, frustrated at being unable to reach the last dungeon, dashed his plans by scaring people away and passing out in the restaurant. After Boy completes the rocket, Hero believes that he will go the moon, so he leaves Kenji in peace.

Kris

Kris (Krysta Ashley Schulze was an American expatriate girl chosen to record Kris’ song, “Kera-Ma-Go”) is a girl who wants to become a pop idol, and it’s within her purview to do so. She’s currently a part-time waitress at Wildcat House.

She takes time off to promote her new single, “Kera-Ma-Go.” After Boy gives her something to wear onstage, he passes her test, joins her fan club, and wins a copy of “Kera-Ma-Go.” She goes on to a rousing performance at Club Techno, though she still returns to Wildcat House while she awaits stardom.

Burrn

Burrn (after the colloquial term for disc authoring) runs Burn Hall near Boy’s house. There, the young music nerd sells most of the game’s MoonDiscs. Ever diligent, he unskillfully practices his guitar every day in front of customers. He’s fond of showing off his breadth of obscure music knowledge, but is otherwise a bit of a dullard.

He’s sincere, if nothing else, and he really wants to befriend Boy. Boy impresses Burrn by correctly guessing the titles of Burrn’s mood music. Because Burrn only experiences comradery through shared interests, he considers Boy his pal and cheers up.

Adder

Adder (named after Love-De-Lic composer Masanori Adachi, since he would sing and dance during the workday) is a New Age leader who serves and reveres a god that’s a soul of an animal killed by Hero. He has a peculiar way of speaking. He wants to be one with God (or perhaps become a god himself) and attain satori afterward.

When Boy helps him do so through rhythmic games, he incorporates a “love hints” business to offer love tips to customers. The animal he worships actually detests him. Boy discovers Adder flying through space on his way to the moon, although his enlightenment fails to help Adder avoid getting stuck in the Milky Way.

Kakunte People

The Kakunte people (“Kakunte” is simply a nonsense word) emigrated from a foreign country and now live in Mushroom Forest. They speak their own language based heavily on variations of “ka-ku-n-te.” They have deified a giant fish animal called “Tottoteruri.” This is obviously based on the “Taito” series “Darius,” characterized by its giant aquatic bosses.

Boy gains entrance to Mushroom Forest after helping an ill Kakunte. There, he discovers that Tottoteruri has been killed. Boy performs their lengthy ritual, resurrecting the beast. In return, the Kakunte allow him to use their special fishing hole. On the way to the moon, Boy’s rocket begins to fall apart. Some Kakunte followed Boy into the rocket, and they sacrifice themselves by blocking the exposed area. They die, but Boy reaches the moon safely.

Florence

Florence (a reference to his old profession) was taken to a crazy world, where he learned the meaning of life, how people perceive reality, and the answers to other such quandaries. As a result, he continues to eat mushrooms in order to get high and hallucinate, both of which he now craves. He’s trying to get out of Love-De-Gard and back to the real world, or so he says. He got lost in the forest while looking for something and apparently vanished into thin air.

Though his brain is addled by drugs, his ravings begin to cohere when he is shown Wanda’s ring. He sorts through his ravaged memories and comes up with a name that temporarily warms his heart: Wanda. He seems to remain beyond hope. However, he returns to Wanda by game’s end, and they try to reconcile.

Doctor Steinhager

Doctor Steinhager (Steinhäger is a German gin) is a doctor with an enormous egg for a head who’s quite conceited and a bit eccentric. He’s leaning on the Love-De-Gard government to bankroll his research, as he only cares about money. Unfortunately, he’s also the only person who can manufacture the rocket to the moon correctly. Furthermore, his genius enabled him to create the whole of Technopolis, populate it with his robotsm and build the rainbow machine. He rides in a robot that can walk and do his work for him. He has just as much insight into Love-De-Gard’s nature as Florence does.

The back of Doctor Steinhager’s head has stitches in it. “Steinhager” not only controls a robot’s actions, but is controlled himself by the person inside his head. Some books at Steinhager’s research laboratory are authored by “Cockerhager.” In the game’s ending, a multitude of his spare heads are shown. Boy’s and Steinhager’s objectives are the same. Once Boy collects the missing rocket parts, Steinhager celebrates. However, his condescending, self-aggrandizing attitude stays with him even as Boy travels through space.

Wisper

Wisper is the ghost of the haunted house’s owner. In order to return to rest, he needs to fulfill those things left undone in life. Namely, he wanted to eat some more.

Boy feeds him foods from each portion of his life. Satiated, Wisper rests in peace.

Robi

Robi (alliteration, as is typical of fictional robot’s names) is a robot concerned with recharging Technopolis’ inhabitants. He’s a robot who has learned to love, and he thinks it’s an awfully annoying development.

Boy helps remove Robi’s artificial intelligence unit, which stops Robi’s emotions. He’d thank Boy, but that’s something humans would do.

Mayor Robo

Mayor Robo (more alliteration) is the mayor of Technopolis. He doesn’t have time to formulate policy because of campaigning. He’s quite concerned with his appearance, because he happens to be an older model robot.

Mayor Robo’s worries about becoming obsolete are well-founded. The Lady Techno model will put him and the Laymen in the scrapheap. He faces intense lobbying pressure from the head Laymen. Nevertheless, the spineless politician makes a difficult decision, approving the new line of Lady Techno robots.

Laymen

The Laymen (Moon uses the English term) are a group of robots who work together during the day and sleep at night affixed to what appears to be an electric train car. The Laymen used to be different colors before helping Doctor Steinhager manufacture his rocket.

The Laymen want to feel like they’re making a difference, even though they don’t really understand new technology. Boy helps surveys them about their feelings on indoor mobile phone usage. The Laymen let their voices be heard!

Lady Techno

Lady Techno (as in, the genre of “techno music”) is an enigmatic woman who dances in the club every night.

Actually, she’s Technopolis’ newest robot model. She has 2 key improvements over the Laymen model: she doesn’t need Robi to charge her each night because she generates electricity by dancing, and she’s a dual worker/girlfriend robot. All future robots will be more energy-efficient and provide robo-companionship. She loves Mayor Robo, but her very existence means that he will soon be obsolete. Mayor Robo approves her further existence, however, and she enjoys what little time she has together with him.

D.J. Saike

D.J. Saike (Japanese for “psychedelic”) is the D.J. for the club. He spends all of his nights working at the club, and could use a break. When Hero kills all of the members of Animal Sacrifice, he’s in a fix.

Boy brings Kris and the souls of Animal Sacrifice to Club Techno, but D.J. Saike ends up falling asleep in the club, anyway. Nevertheless, he appreciates the awesome artists Boy discovered.

Made-Suma

Made-Suma (“Made” is a common Balinese name, and the whole name may be a play on “Montezuma”) is a man who loves the sound of the gamelan, so he moved to Bali Bali. He challenges Boy to a gamelan tribulation, since Made-Suma can’t play well.

Boy stuns Made-Suma with his gamelan virtuosity, forcing him to admit that he has an equal. Made-Suma comes to admire Boy’s nice playing.

Denpazaru

The Denpazaru (which is a complex pun; “denpa” can mean “radio waves” or “nonsense,” while “saru” means “monkey” and “zaru” means a person who can handle his liquor; furthermore, Denpasar is the capital of the real Bali) is a troop of monkeys that have a magnificent penchant for music. 1 of them is gone traveling, so they’ll invite anyone to join them for a round of drinks.

They were going to play music in Technopolis’ club as “Denpazaru,” but their leader left because the gamelan was too hard to play. It’s now playing as Kris’ backing band. After Boy proves his gamelan prowess, the Denpazaru let him drink some of their monkey liquor. Boy immediately passes out.

Bihab

Bihab (echoing the famous whaler Ahab in Moby-Dick) is a famed pirate. People think he died.

He’s actually just hiding, waiting for someone to find his treasure. Boy follows Bihab’s clues around the world, and then discovers his treasure next to the original clue. Bihab declares Boy a “man among men.”

Mister Owl

Mister Owl is the lecturer at Midnight University. His retirement’s approaching soon.

He bids farewell to his final class, and flies off into the night.

Danchoo

Danchoo (the Japanese term for a group leader) is a ringleader featured only in Midnight University’s classes.

The game’s creators cut a circus sequence from the final game, but used the character in those scenes.

Mutsujiroo

Mutsujiroo (whose name echoes that of a famous Japanese animal caretaker) is a compassionate mushroom person who wants to save animals. He teaches Boy about soul catching. He also stars in his own television program, chronicling Boy’s successes.

Mutsujiroo, in fact, gathers the animals Boy saved on the moon, where they have a chance to live their lives again. He’s eternally grateful to Boy for saving the animals he cares for so much. He also acts as Boy’s guide when he reaches the moon.

Moon Queen

During Boy’s dreams, she gives Boy “love points” based on his deeds and tells him how much experience he needs to level up.

Boy discovers that the Moon Queen is in no danger and that she and Dragon are part of the same being. She’s a seer in her own citadel who concerns herself with the fate of Love-De-Gard and the prophecies of the chips. She believes that Boy has the power to save their world, so she’s stunned to find that he cannot open the Door Of Light.

Dragon

Dragon is a monster that is said to live on the moon. He swallowed the moonlight, and is threatening to plunge Love-De-Gard into darkness.

Boy discovers that Dragon has nothing to do with the world’s endangerment, and that it and the Moon Queen are part of the same being. It concerns itself with Boy’s and Hero’s fates, and reflects the darkness in people's hearts. It believes that Boy has the power to save their world, so it’s stunned to find that he cannot open the Door Of Light.

Development[edit]

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure is the first of three games developed by Love-de-Lic, a game developer made up of former members of Square. After leaving Square, the group worked on the game ambitiously for over two years.[7] It was first previewed in Weekly Famitsu on May 23, 1997.[8] Moon was directed by Kenichi Nishi. He was aided in the game's design by Yoshirou Kimura and Taro Kudou. The game's backgrounds and maps were designed by Akira Ueda. Character and monster designs were handled by Kazuyuki Kurashima.

Music[edit]

The soundtrack to Moon was composed by over 30 independent Japanese musicians, perhaps the most prominent of which is The Thelonious Monkees, headed by Hirofumi Taniguchi. He would later compose music for Love-de-Lic's other games, as well the games from its spin-off companies. The game's musical score is a wide mix of genres ranging from pop music to traditional Japanese koto music, as well as having both instrumental and vocal tracks. One of the gameplay mechanics of Moon called the "MoonDisc" (MD) player even allows the person playing the game to arrange their own soundtrack with up to 36 pieces of music, for certain situations during the story.[9]

One of the soundtrack's most recognizable songs is The Thelonious Monkees KERA-MA-GO, theme song of the game's Idol singer character Kris. In reality, the song was sung by a 12-year old American girl named Krysta Ashley Schulze, who just happened to be vacationing in Japan with her family at the time and had no prior experience as a recording artist.

The first of Moon's soundtracks was released on a single disc in 1997 alongside the game itself, but many of the MD tracks were absent, most likely due to legal issues from the many artists that composed the music.[9] In December 2002, a 3-disc set titled The Sketches of Moondays: We Kept Our Promise To You was released by Sten Och Flod and Underground Liberation Force Records. The set contains all of the game's music in a total of 63 tracks.[9] One of its tracks, "Promise," was remixed for the 2001 Melody of Legend: Chapter of Love compilation disc.[10]

In 2006, Olio Music, an online music store, re-published both albums, as well as releasing two compilation albums: one containing arranged music from the game, and one containing new music composed by the moon disc artists.[11][12][13][14]

Merchandise[edit]

A companion book titled Moon: Official Book was also released by ASCII. Another book titled Tsukiyo No Aho Dori: Moon Side Story was released by Jugemu Books. It features a story by Yoshirou Kimura and illustrations by Kazuyuki Kurashima.[15]

Reception[edit]

Despite its lack of sales, Moon was widely praised for its innovation and is seen a game that breaks the norm of conventional role-playing games, parodying many aspects of the genre itself.[6][7][16]

In 2000, Famitsu listed Moon in its top 120 PlayStation games of all time for scoring 32 out of 40.[17] Wyrdwad of RPGFan calls Moon one of the greatest RPGs ever made and cites it as being "nearly perfect in every way."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IGN staff (October 7, 1997). "Ascii Drops RPG". IGN.com. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  2. ^ IGN Staff (August 4, 1997). "Ascii Speaks". IGN.com. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  3. ^ love-de-licious (July 30, 2008). "Love-de-links". Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  4. ^ Sgeos. "Unofficial Moon Translation Project". Sennue.com. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  5. ^ "Moon: Remix RPG Adventure PSX Translation". Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  6. ^ a b c Wyrdwad (May 14, 2006). "RPGFan Reviews - Moon". RPGFan.com. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  7. ^ a b c Bruno de Figueiredo. "LOVE-de-LIC". GameSpy.com. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  8. ^ "Weekly Famitsu ~ May 23, 1997 ~". NCSX.com. May 23, 1997. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  9. ^ a b c Wyrdwad. "RPGFan Soundtracks - The Sketches of Moondays: We Kept Our Promise To You". RPGFan.com. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  10. ^ "Melody of Legend ~ Chapter of Dream". Chudahs-Corner.com. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  11. ^ "close up #005 Moon Sound Track "Mburrn"". Olio-Music.jp. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  12. ^ "close up #007 Moon Sound Track "Mburrn" vol. 2". Olio-Music.jp. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  13. ^ "close up #009 Moon Sound Track "Mburrn" vol. 3". Olio-Music.jp. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  14. ^ "close up #011 "Mburrn" presents Ten Years After". Olio-Music.jp. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  15. ^ "月夜の阿呆鳥―Moon side story (じゅげむBOOKS) (単行本)". Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  16. ^ Klepek, Patrick (March 3, 2003). "Giftpia Preview for GameCube - Gaming Age". Gaming-Age.com. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  17. ^ "Top 120 Famitsu". Gaming-Age.com. June 2000. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 

External links[edit]