Jake Hunter

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Jake Hunter
Jake Hunter logo.png
Genre(s)Visual novel
Platform(s)Family Computer Disk System, Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Virtual Console, Nintendo 3DS
Platform(s) of originNintendo Entertainment System
First releaseShinjuku Chūō Kōen Satsujin Jiken
April 24, 1987 (1987-04-24)
Latest releaseGhost of the Dusk
August 31, 2017 (2017-08-31)

Jake Hunter, known in Japan as Tantei Jingūji Saburō (探偵神宮寺三郎, "Detective Saburō Jingūji"), is a mystery adventure game series originally developed and published by Data East in 1987, and later developed by WorkJam, Marvelous Entertainment and Arc System Works. The franchise is currently owned by Arc System Works.[1]

Despite its popularity in Japan, only one of its games have been released overseas: Tantei Jingūji Saburō DS: Inishie no Kioku was retitled and released in North America on June 11, 2008 by Aksys Games as Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles. The game was re-released on May 26, 2009 as Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past, which contains the original three cases with new translations to improve the original game content, plus three new cases, and a large number of unlockables including comics. On July 1, 2017, Aksys Games announced they would be bringing over Jake Hunter: Ghost of the Dusk in 2018.[2] On May 9, 2018, a new entry, Jake Hunter: Prism of Eyes, was confirmed for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.[3]


The first game of the series, Shinjuku Chūō Kōen Satsujin Jiken (新宿中央公園殺人事件, Shinjuku Central Park Murder Mystery) was released in 1987 by Data East for the Family Computer Disk System. Numerous sequels have been released since then, and the series marked its 20th anniversary in 2007 by releasing a new title for the Nintendo DS. According to Enterbrain, the franchise has sold over 2,220,000 copies in total, making it one of the longest standing and best-selling Japanese adventure game series in history.

Family Computer[edit]

Tantei Jingūji Saburō debuted on the Family Computer with advanced graphics, sound effects, and distinct hardboiled scenarios to set itself apart from other adventure games of the time. Kazushige Nojima wrote the scenarios for the 3rd and 4th installments of the series. Time played an important role in the Famicom games, as each command selected by the player caused a certain amount of time to elapse within the game, and failure to solve the mystery during the allotted time period would result in a bad ending. This time system was later revived in the 7th installment of the series.

Fifth generation consoles[edit]

Production was halted after the 4th installment, but was revived in 1996 with the release of the 5th game in the series on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. The series was revamped with improved graphics and sound made possible by the use of the CD-ROM, and featured voice acting for the first time.

Sixth generation consoles[edit]

In 2003, Data East went bankrupt, permanently halting production of many of its game series. WorkJam took over production of Tantei Jingūji Saburō, and the series continued with two games released for the PlayStation 2 and two games released as mobile phone applications. There are currently 12 console games in the entire series and 16 mobile phone games; 4 of which are remakes from the console releases.


The main character of the series is Jake Hunter (known in Japan as Saburō Jingūji (神宮寺三郎, Jingūji Saburō)), a 32-year-old private detective who operates a detective agency in Aspicio, USA (Shinjuku, Tokyo in Japanese versions). He was born as the third son of a wealthy business enterprise owner, and traveled to New York City during his youth to work as an assistant detective. He is a heavy smoker, and often assembles his thoughts while smoking a Marlboro cigarette. According to his in-game profile, his favorite alcoholic beverage is cognac, and he drives a green Mini Cooper.

Other recurring characters include: Yulia Marks (known in Japan as Yōko Misono (御苑洋子, Misono Yōko)), Jake's assistant, and Scott Kingsley (known in Japan as Sanzō Kumano (熊野参造, Kumano Sanzō)), the inspector of the Aspicio police.

Voice acting[edit]

Voice acting was first used in certain game scenes in the 5th installment, Mikan no Rupo (未完のルポ, The Unfinished Reportage), and has been implemented in all subsequent releases, excluding those released as mobile phone applications. Jingūji's character has been voiced by Yukimasa Kishino, Akio Ōtsuka, Jūrōta Kosugi, and Kaoru Katō. Yōko's character has been voiced by Tsumugi Ōsawa, Yōko Saitō, Fumiko Orikasa, and Kazue Nakamoto. Other notable voice actors include Fumihiko Tachiki, Kōji Ishii, and Masaaki Tsukada as Sanzō Kumano.

List of media[edit]

Japanese title English title Release date Developer Platform Synopsis
Shinjuku Chūō Kōen Satsujin Jiken
Shinjuku Central Park Murder Mystery
The Petty Murder of a Fragile Heart (on DS remake)
  • JP: April 24, 1987
Data East Disk System The strangled corpse of a popular hostess is discovered at Asipicio Central Park. A doctor, homeless man and someone else may know something.
Yokohama-kō Renzoku Satsujin Jiken
Yokohama Port Serial Murder Mystery
Seaside City Conspiracy (on DS remake)
  • JP: February 26, 1988
Family Computer The search for a missing girlfriend results in the discovery of her hiding guns, and the police begin to suspect a link with an underground trafficking organization.
Kiken na Futari Zenpen
危険な二人 前編
A Dangerous Duo Part 1
Crash and Burn (on DS remake)
  • JP: December 9, 1988
Disk System Jake visits a race circuit at the invitation of one of Yulia's friends. A motorcycle racer, Sabin Olsen, crashes at the circuit, but a different racer's body is recovered from the crash site. At the same time, Sabin Olsen, at a hotel, is found where a man he was supposed to meet was killed causing Olsen to be framed as he fled the hotel.
Kiken na Futari Kōhen
危険な二人 後編
A Dangerous Duo Part 2
Crash and Burn (on DS remake)
  • JP: February 10, 1989
Toki no Sugiyuku Mama ni...
Let Time Pass By...
As Time Goes By (on DS remake)
  • JP: September 28, 1990
Family Computer Jake investigates a burglary at a mansion, while Yulia searches for the home of a young boy. Both cases seemed simple, until they become one.
Mikan no Rupo
The Unfinished Reportage
  • JP: November 29, 1996
Sega Saturn
An overseas package containing a small key arrives at the detective agency from Jingūji's journalist acquaintance. Jingūji must uncover the hidden meaning of the key.
Yume no Owari ni
At the End of the Dream
  • JP: April 23, 1998
Jingūji is tormented by hideous dreams of his past. The mystery begins as Yōko unwittingly decides to investigate a requested case.
Tomoshibi ga Kienu Ma ni
While the Light Remains
  • JP: November 25, 1999
PlayStation An injured young man suddenly takes refuge at the detective agency. Investigation of two cases becomes complex as they are gradually woven together.
Tantei Jingūji Saburō Early Collection
  • JP: August 5, 1999
This is a compilation of the early games released for the Family Computer and Family Computer Disk System
Innocent Black
  • JP: October 4, 2002
WorkJam PlayStation 2 Jingūji is asked to search for a missing daughter from the director of a hospital where he had received treatment. This small case gradually expands to revive a deep and complex mystery. The game's scenario was written by Yutaka Kaminaga of WorkJam.
  • JP: April 22, 2004
Jingūji is bored and tired after several months without any cases. He gladly returns to work when the Kantō mafia requests the investigation of a certain individual.
Shiroi Kage no Shōjo
The Girl with the White Shadow
  • JP: January 27, 2005
Marvelous Interactive
Game Boy Advance When Jingūji attends his friend's funeral, his friend's mother asks him to investigate a missing person, while police inspector Kumano asks him to investigate the urban myth called "Yū-chan".
Inishie no Kioku
The Ancient Memory
Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles
Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past
  • JP: July 19, 2007

  • NA: June 11, 2008

  • NA: May 26, 2009
Arc System Works
Nintendo DS Jake is arrested by the police for a crime he did not commit. He must prove his innocence while another story of a boy named Ken becomes a part of it and the cause of it.
The release marks the 20th anniversary of Tantei Jingūji Saburō, and includes the first five games from the mobile phone series. The first four cases originally released on the Disk System and Family Computer were remade along with two new ones. This game is the only one in the series released in the U.S.; however, unlike the Japanese version, the U.S. version title Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles only contains the first three cases and many of the extras were cut from the game. The game was later rereleased as Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past, unedited and retranslated.
Kienai Kokoro
The Abiding Spirit
  • JP: April 24, 2008
Jingūji is asked to investigate the suicide of an elementary school girl from 20 years ago. When he visits her school, he meets the school principal who demands the investigation of another new case...
The title also contains five games from the mobile phone series (No.6–No.10)
Fuserareta Shinjitsu
The Withheld Truth
  • JP: March 29, 2009
The title also contains five games from the mobile phone series (No.11–No.15)[4]
Hai to Daiyamondo
Ashes and Diamonds
  • JP: September 17, 2009
PlayStation Portable Jingūji meets the Kasumi Sisters, who run a Shinjuku bar. He ends up investigating five seemingly unconnected cases, but... (No.6–No.10)
Akai Chō
Red Butterfly
  • JP: September 30, 2010
Nintendo DS The title also contains five games from the mobile phone series (No.16–No.20)[5]
Fukushuu no Rinne
Round of Revenge
  • JP: June 28, 2012
Nintendo 3DS
Ghost of the Dusk Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk
  • JP: August 31, 2017

  • NA: Fall 2018
Arc System Works Nintendo 3DS The title also contains four games from the mobile phone series (No.21–No.24)[7]
Prism of Eyes
  • JP: August 9, 2018
Arc System Works PlayStation 4
Nintendo Switch
The title will also contain remakes of ten games from the mobile phone series (No.4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19)[8]
Daedalus: The Awakening of Golden Jazz
  • JP: December 13, 2018
Arc System Works PlayStation 4
Nintendo Switch
The game centers on a young Saburo who heads to New York prior to joining the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. It's a prequel to At the End of the Dream.[9]

Mobile phone series[edit]

The mobile phone games were developed by WorkJam. The first four games are remakes of the original Famicom versions, with minor changes made in text.

Japanese title English title
No.01 Shinjuku Chūō Kōen Satsujin Jiken
Shinjuku Central Park Murder Mystery
The Petty Murder of a Fragile Heart (on DS remake)
No.02 Yokohama-kō Renzoku Satsujin Jiken
Yokohama Port Serial Murder Mystery
Seaside City Conspiracy (on DS remake)
No.03 Kiken na Futari
A Dangerous Duo
Crash and Burn (on DS remake)
No.04 Toki no Sugiyuku Mama Ni...
Let Time Pass By...
As Time Goes By (on DS remake)
No.05 Akai Me no Tora
The Red-Eyed Tiger
The Red-Eyed Tiger (on DS remake)
No.06 Rokumai no Hankō
The Six Pieces of Crime
No.07 Bōen wo Sagase
Search for the Dying Smoke!
No.08 Aoi Me no Ryū
The Blue-Eyed Dragon
No.09 Kito no Yoru
Kito's Night
No.10 Shikaku no Wana
The Square Trap
No.11 Inu to Yobareta Otoko
The Man Who Was Called a Dog
No.12 Futairo no Shojō
The Two-Colored Girl
No.13 Inochi Tatsu Kokugen
Prophecy of Death
No.14 Takusareta Yubiwa
The Bequeathed Ring
No.15 Shingi no Hazama
In Between Truths
No.16 Tsubaki no Yukue
Whereabouts of the Camellia
No.17 Akenai Yoru ni
The Endless Night
No.18 Kadan no Itte
One Decisive Move
No.19 Rensasuru Noroi
The Linking Curse
No.20 Naki Ko no Shōzō
Portrait of a Dead Child
No.21 Onihimeden
The Legend of the Demon Princess
Legend of the Demon Princess (on 3DS)
No.22 Ai Yue ni
For the Sake of Love
For Love (on 3DS)
No.23 Wasurenagusa no Omoi
Forget Me Not
Forget-me-not (on 3DS)
No.24 Yurameku Hitotose
One Wavering Year
Four Seasons (on 3DS)

Other media[edit]

Eight novels based around the game have been released from 1988 to 2007 by various authors and publishing companies (most notably Dengeki Bunko and Famitsu Bunko). Four soundtrack CDs have also been released.

The first four games in the series were released on the Wii's Virtual Console exclusively in Japan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Arc System Works Picks Up The Jake Hunter And Theresia Series". Siliconera. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk coming to North America in 2018 - Gematsu". Gematsu. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  3. ^ https://www.famitsu.com/news/201805/08156507.html
  4. ^ https://vndb.org/v5987
  5. ^ https://vndb.org/v5993
  6. ^ "Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk launches this fall in North America". Siliconera. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  7. ^ https://vndb.org/r50282
  8. ^ http://www.arcsystemworks.jp/jinguji/poe/story03/
  9. ^ https://gematsu.com/2018/09/daedalus-the-awakening-of-golden-jazz-launches-december-13-in-japan

External links[edit]