Moon: Remix RPG Adventure
|Moon: Remix RPG Adventure|
Moon: Remix RPG Adventure (ムーンリミックスRPGアドベンチャー Moon Rimikkusu RPG Adobencha) 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.
Although the game was featured prominently at E3 in 1997 with plans to release the game the following year, ASCII decided not to release Moon outside Japan. The game was advertised shortly afterward for a US release in GamePro magazine, 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 but is currently in the process of being translated by a new team.
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. 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.
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.
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. Hero leaves behind the corpses of the animals he's killed 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.
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. "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.
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.
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. It was first previewed in Weekly Famitsu on May 23, 1997. 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.
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.
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. 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. One of its tracks, "Promise," was remixed for the 2001 Melody of Legend: Chapter of Love compilation disc.
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.
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.
In 2000, Famitsu listed Moon in its top 120 PlayStation games of all time for scoring 32 out of 40. Wyrdwad of RPGFan calls Moon one of the greatest RPGs ever made and cites it as being "nearly perfect in every way."
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