Tokimeki Memorial

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Tokimeki Memorial
Tokimeki Memorial PC Engine.jpg
Cover of the original PC Engine CD version
Developer(s)Konami
Publisher(s)Konami
Director(s)Yoshiaki Nagata
Producer(s)Tomikazu Kirita
Programmer(s)Asuty S.
Artist(s)Masashi Kokura
Writer(s)Koji Igarashi[1]
Composer(s)Mikio Saito
Seiya Murai
Miki Higashino
Hiro Noguchi
SeriesTokimeki Memorial
Platform(s)PC Engine CD, PlayStation, Super Famicom, Sega Saturn, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Color, mobile phones, PlayStation Portable
Release
May 27, 1994
  • PC Engine
    • JP: May 27, 1994
    PlayStation
    • JP: October 13, 1995
    Super Famicom
    • JP: February 9, 1996
    Sega Saturn
    • JP: July 19, 1996
    Windows
    • JP: December 4, 1997
    Game Boy
    • JP: February 11, 1999
    Mobile phones
    • JP: December 8, 2004
    PlayStation Portable
    • JP: March 9, 2006
Genre(s)Dating sim
Mode(s)Single-player

Tokimeki Memorial (ときめきメモリアル, Tokimeki Memoriaru, lit. "Heartbeat Memorial") is a dating sim video game developed and published by Konami. The first game in the Tokimeki Memorial series, it was first released for the PC Engine's Super CD-ROM² System on May 27, 1994. It was directed by Yoshiaki Nagata, with Koji Igarashi working on scenario writing. It later received numerous ports to the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Super Famicom, Game Boy Color, PlayStation Portable, and mobile platforms.

The game is considered one of the major titles in the dating sim genre, and eschews the sexual content of other games in the genre.[2]

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot of the original PC Engine game showing the statistics integral to the gameplay.

Tokimeki Memorial is a dating sim game in which the player controls a male freshman from Kirameki High School. The game is particularly notable for its "bomb" feature, where neglected, infrequently-dated girls would eventually become angry and gossip to their friends, severely reducing love meters across the board. In the middle of the game, when the number of known girls is high, these "bombs" became the primary concern of the player, forcing careful planning and strategies like round-robin dating. Although the feature was still present in the later games, these games considerably reduced its importance and the difficulty in avoiding it.

Players pick options as responses when promoted by the characters in the game.[2]

Development[edit]

The dating simulator genre was preceded by the raising simulation genre best codified by the Princess Maker series by Gainax, which focused on child raising rather than dating.[2]

Writer Koji Igarashi says when he was tasked with writing the story for the game, he got assistance from his girlfriend at the time who would later become his wife. She gave him advice on how to write the story to the game, while he would play Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, the game she was working at the time.[3] Igarashi requested to not work on a sequel to the game, and instead was allowed to request to work on the next Castlevania game instead.[4]

The goal of the developers was to hearken back to high school days. Konami director Akihiko Nagata said "the person who created the game wanted to have experiences like this back in his high school days".[2]

Release history[edit]

The original was released for the PC Engine in 1994. It was remade as Tokimeki Memorial: Forever With You on the PlayStation (1995), Sega Saturn (1996) and PC (1997) with a new opening video, improved graphics and sound, and new minigames.

In 1996, it was ported to the Super Famicom as Tokimeki Memorial: Densetsu no Ki no Shita de, and although drastically reduced in graphic and sound quality (the only voice clips were available during loading), included an exclusive CD with a radio drama and new arrangement of the ending theme, "Futari no Toki", this time sung by the majority of the girls, instead of just Shiori Fujisaki (the heroine of the first game).

In 1999, the game was ported again to the Game Boy Color in two versions, Tokimeki Memorial Sports Version: Kotei no Photograph and Tokimeki Memorial Culture Version: Komorebi no Melody, dividing 10 of the characters between the two games and adding three new winnable characters, Patricia McGrath, Naomi Munakata, and Kyoko Izumi. The Game Boy Color versions also featured a Beatmania mini-game, compatibility with the Super Game Boy, a screen saver mode, and a two-player versus minigame.[citation needed] The game received a sequel the same year.[5]

Konami announced a mobile game version of Tokimeki Memorial for the i-mode mobile platform in 1999, and it was expected to release in January 2000.[6] In 2004, Tokimeki Memorial was released for mobile phones in Japan, and in 2006, was ported to the PlayStation Portable portable system, which is virtually identical to the PlayStation version. In 2009, the PlayStation version of Tokimeki Memorial: Forever With You was released on the Japanese PlayStation Store to celebrate the franchise's 15th anniversary.[7]

In 2017, the release of the mobile game Tokimeki Idol was released.[8][9]

Reception[edit]

Tokimeki Memorial sold 1.1 million copies by 1996.[2]

The game, a classic of the dating sim genre,[10] was voted as the 23rd Favorite video game of all-time in a 2006 reader poll by Japanese magazine Famitsu.[11]

Tokimeki Memorial popularized the use of social statistics-raising mechanics in games for following decades.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ときめきメモリアル". 2.tok2.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  2. ^ a b c d e Pollack, Andrew (November 25, 1996). "Japan's Newest Young Heartthrobs Are Sexy, Talented and Virtual". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 29, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  3. ^ Parkin, Simon (9 April 2014). "Unfinished symphony: Castlevania's keeper speaks". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  4. ^ Szczepaniak, John. "Before They Were Famouos". Retro Gamer. Imagine Publishing (35): 75.
  5. ^ Tanikawa, Miki (May 18, 2002). "BRIEFCASE: Gamers turn into investors". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  6. ^ "Mobiles: The New Gaming Platform (Big in Japan)" (PDF). Edge. No. 79 (December 1999). 24 November 1999. p. 10.
  7. ^ "ときめきメモリアル~forever with you~". Konami.jp. Archived from the original on 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  8. ^ "「ときめきメモリアル」シリーズに新展開 モバイルゲーム『ときめきアイドル』今冬配信!― 本日から事前登録を開始 - | 株式会社コナミデジタルエンタテインメント". www.konami.com (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  9. ^ "『ときメモ』シリーズに新展開!『ときめきアイドル』発表─今度はアイドル候補生とコミュニケーション | インサイド". インサイド (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  10. ^ Kushner, David (March 22, 2001). "For Hard-Core Gamers, the Lure of the East". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  11. ^ "Japan Votes on All Time Top 100 - Edge Magazine". Next-gen.biz. 2006-03-03. Archived from the original on 2011-10-15. Retrieved 2011-06-17.
  12. ^ Kalata, Kurt (2019). "1994 – Tokimeki Memorial". Hardcore Gaming 101 Presents: Japanese Video Game Obscurities. Unbound Publishing. pp. 90–91 (90). ISBN 978-1-78352-765-6.