Hotaru no Nikki

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Hotaru no Nikki
Hotaru no Nikki logo.jpg
Japanese PlayStation Vita release cover
Developer(s)Nippon Ichi Software
Director(s)Masayuki Furuya
Designer(s)Masayuki Furuya
Programmer(s)Atsushi Usui
Yu Kitajima
Kenta Asano
Kenta Kobayashi
Yusaku Nagayasu
Composer(s)Hajime Sugie
Platform(s)PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows
ReleasePlayStation Vita
Microsoft Windows
  • WW: May 18, 2016[4]
Genre(s)Adventure, Puzzle

Hotaru no Nikki (ホタルノニッキ, lit. "Firefly's Diary"), stylised as htoL#NiQ, is a 2014 video game created by Japanese game developer Nippon Ichi Software for the PlayStation Vita and Microsoft Windows. The game is directed and designed by Masayuki Furuya.[5][6]


The story begins on December 31, 9999, when a young amnesiac girl by the name of Mion wakes at the bottom of a dark ruins within a desolate world. Following a desire to let Mion escape the rubble and see the outside world, the firefly Hotaru leads her on a journey upwards through the ruins.[7] On her journey outwards, she finds unmanned machines, distorted vegetation, and bodies of dead children.[8]


In-game screenshot depicting a stage's hazards and enemies.

Within the "World of Light", the player controls a firefly who guides a girl named Mion. Her movements are dependent on how the firefly moves, and the player aims to guide her through worlds containing various obstacles. The firefly may cause Mion to move, or perform a certain action. Meanwhile, in the "World of Shadow", the player is able to control a shadow firefly, who is able to remove objects on the game stage from behind the shadows. If the player is caught by enemies that lurk within the shadows of the ruins, or if the player is caught in traps set up throughout the levels, Mion dies.[5][9][10] Whilst Mion is unable to physically attack enemies, the player is able to tactically exploit the surrounding environment to destroy them, for example by dropping boulders.[11]

The game makes use of the PlayStation Vita's touch controls, with the player controlling the firefly with the front touchscreen, and the shadow firefly with the rear touchpad. The player can freely switch between the two worlds at will, and will require to use both worlds in order to clear stages.[12] As the game progresses, the player collects memory fragments which reveal fragments of Mion's past.[8]


According to Nippon Ichi Software president Sohei Niikawa, the game is a completely new and original intellectual property work, and part of a new move within the company to create a new brand and direct creative energy towards creating new games. The main staff involved with the project were prior involved in the development of the Disgaea game series.[5][9] The art style of the game is reminiscent of a picture book, and revolves around themes such as death, shadow and light.[7] The game features support for the PlayStation Vita TV.[2] Due to frequent usage of gruesome death scenes, Hotaru no Nikki was given a rating of CERO D (17+) in Japan.[11]

The game was localised by NIS America for release in North America and Europe, under the title htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary.[13]


Whilst the standard version of the game is a digital-only release available as a downloadable purchase from the PlayStation Network,[FN 1] Nippon Ichi Software released a limited batch of special edition sets containing physical cartridge copies of the game through retail stores in Japan, which sold through the majority of its shipment within the first week of release, representing a sell-through of approximately 90% of all limited edition copies.[14][15] A similar limited edition was released in other territories, and sold out before release. However, unlike in Japan, physical copies were produced for non limited editions. Both releases were available exclusively at NIS America's online store, and retailed for $29.99 and $19.99, respectively.


Review scores
Hardcore GamerN/A3.5/5[21]
Aggregate scores

Famitsu gave the game a review score of 30/40.[20] Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 3.5 out of 5, saying "The fundamentals for an incredible experience are there, and yet htoL#NiQ never seems to quite capitalize on them."[21] HonestGamers later reviewed the worldwide PC port and noted that though the control scheme was vastly improved, the game still suffered [22]


  1. ^ Sony Computer Entertainment does not publicly release data on digital sales within the PlayStation Store; rankings from both Famitsu and Media Create only chart sales data for retail software sales.


  1. ^ 2014-11-13, Western Release Of Vita’s The Firefly Diary Pushed Back To February 2015, Siliconera
  2. ^ a b 2014-03-20, 日本一ソフトウェア,新作アクションゲーム「htoL#NiQ -ホタルノニッキ-」を発表。“光と影”を使い分け,廃墟に眠る少女を連れ出そう, 4gamer
  3. ^ 2015-02-19, EU Release of Vita’s The Firefly Diary Confirmed for March 4th ,
  4. ^ "htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary Beta Testing & New Release Date". NIS America. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b c 2014-03-11, Nippon Ichi announces Hotaru no Nikki for PS Vita, Gematsu
  6. ^ 2014-03-11, Nippon Ichi’s Next Vita Game Turns You Into A Firefly, Siliconera
  7. ^ a b 2014-03-20, 日本一ソフトウェアが贈る完全新作『htoL#NiQ -ホタルノニッキ-』。タッチ操作をメインとした、ステージクリア型の新機軸アクションゲーム, Famitsu
  8. ^ a b 2014-03-17, Hotaru no Nikki new details, screenshots, and trailer, Gematsu
  9. ^ a b 2014-03-12, 謎の新作『htoL#NiQ -ホタルノニッキ-』について新川社長を直撃! 『ヤンデレ地獄』を含めた新プロジェクトも明らかに!!【電撃PS】, Dengeki Online
  10. ^ 2014-03-12, Nippon Ichi’s next project is htoL #NiQ: Hotaru no Nikki, VG247
  11. ^ a b 2014-03-20, 日本一ソフトウェアらしい尖ったタイトルを届けていきたい――「NEWBRAND」での新IP展開や新作への意気込みを,新川宗平社長に語ってもらった, 4gamer
  12. ^ 2014-03-19, Hotaru no Nikki debut screenshots and artwork, Gematsu
  13. ^ 2014-07-03, NIS America Adds The Awakened Fate Ultimatum, Criminal Girls, The Firefly Diary Games, Anime News Network
  14. ^ 2014-06-25, Business Famitsu Weekly Sales Rankings TOP30 for the week 2014年6月16日~2014年6月22日, Famitsu. (WebCite archive; )
  15. ^ 2014-06-26, 【週間ソフト販売ランキング TOP50】1位はWii U『マリオカート8』。3DS『ポケモンアートアカデミー』は3位に初登場(6月16日~22日), Dengeki Online
  16. ^ "htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary for PC". GameRankings. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  17. ^ "htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary for PlayStation Vita". GameRankings. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  18. ^ "htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary for PlayStation Vita Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  19. ^ Tolentino, Josh (22 February 2015). "Review: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary". Destructoid. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  20. ^ a b Romano, Sal (10 June 2014). "Famitsu Review Scores: Issue 1331". Gematsu. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  21. ^ a b Estrada, Marcus (22 February 2015). "Review: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary". Hardcore Gamer. Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  22. ^ a b Hartley, Gary (1 June 2016). "Review: htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary". HonestGamers. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  23. ^ Bevan, Jim (31 March 2016). "htoL#NIQ: The Firefly Diary Review". GameCritics. Retrieved 3 October 2016.

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