Moon: Remix RPG Adventure

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure[a] is a role-playing adventure game developed by Love-de-Lic and first published in 1997 by ASCII Entertainment for the PlayStation in Japan. Moon is set within a fictional role-playing game where "the hero" has wreaked destruction, killing hundreds of creatures and looting homes. The player takes on the role of a supporting character in this world, attempting to undo the damage done by the hero. Moon has been praised by critics for how it parodies the conventions and tropes of role-playing games. Although it was not localized for many years, it influenced Toby Fox for the design of his 2015 game Undertale. After speaking with Fox, original designer Yoshiro Kimura was inspired to localize Moon.[1] In 2019, Onion Games released a port for the Nintendo Switch, which was localized and published in Western territories in 2020.

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure
Moon - Remix RPG Adventure Coverart.png
Developer(s)Love-de-Lic
Publisher(s)
Designer(s)
Artist(s)Kazuyuki Kurashima
Writer(s)
  • Yoshiro Kimura
  • Taro Kudo
Composer(s)
Platform(s)PlayStation, Nintendo Switch
ReleasePlayStation
  • JP: October 16, 1997
Nintendo Switch
  • JP: October 10, 2019
  • WW: August 27, 2020
Genre(s)Role-playing, adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

GameplayEdit

 
Gameplay screenshot

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 Monday, The Day of the Bonfire is Tuesday, The Day of the Tear is Wednesday, The Day of the Leaves is Thursday, The Day of the Neka (Real Moon's currency) is 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.[2]

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 decide what to do based on the words and pictures featured on the chips.

PlotEdit

Moon begins with the protagonist, a small boy, playing a new role-playing game (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 (JRPGs) of the 16-bit era.[3] Convoluted JRPG stories are skewered by the minutes of a 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, with 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, 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, and the V.I.P. Room. Bali Bali is its own location, as is the moon.

DevelopmentEdit

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.[3] It was first previewed in Weekly Famitsu on May 23, 1997.[4] Moon was co-directed by Yoshiro Kimura, Taro Kudo, and Kenichi Nishi[5]. The game's backgrounds and maps were designed by Akira Ueda. Character and monster designs were handled by Kazuyuki Kurashima.

MusicEdit

The soundtrack to Moon was composed by over 30 independent Japanese musicians, perhaps the most prominent of which is The Thelonious Monkees, Love-de-Lic's internal name for its sound team, 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.[6]

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.[6] 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.[6] One of its tracks, "Promise," was remixed for the 2001 Melody of Legend: Chapter of Love compilation disc.[7] 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 "MoonDisc" artists.[8][9][10][11]

ReleaseEdit

The game was first released for PlayStation on October 16, 1997, and was re-released as part of the PlayStation the Best line on November 5, 1998.[citation needed] 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 Yoshiro Kimura and illustrations by Kazuyuki Kurashima.[12]

Moon was featured prominently at ASCII's E3 booth in 1997 with plans to release the game internationally the following year, but ASCII canceled localization plans later that year.[13][14] English fan translations were attempted but never completed.[15][16]

Nintendo Switch portEdit

On the Japanese broadcast of the September 4, 2019 Nintendo Direct presentation, Yoshiro Kimura's development studio Onion Games announced a Nintendo Switch port of the game, which was released in Japan on October 10 of that year.[17] Afterwards, the studio announced via Twitter that this version would receive an English localization, to be released in Western regions some time after the Japanese release.[18] Tim Rogers, formerly of Kotaku, was confirmed as a writer on the English translation.[19] It was released worldwide on August 27, 2020.[20]

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic77/100 (NS)[21]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid7.5/10 (NS)[22]
Famitsu32/40 (PS)[23]
GameSpot8/10 (NS)[24]
Nintendo Life7/10 (NS)[25]
Nintendo World Report8.5/10 (NS)[26]

In 2000, Famitsu listed Moon in its top 120 PlayStation games of all time for scoring 32 out of 40.[27]

LegacyEdit

Moon was praised for its innovation breaking the norm of conventional role-playing games, parodying many aspects of the genre itself.[2][3][28] It has been described as an "anti-RPG" for the way it subverts RPG tropes.[29] The premise of Moon is considered to be ahead of its time. It is an early example of the Isekai genre of Japanese fantasy fiction, with its plot involving the protagonist being sucked into the fantasy-themed virtual world of a role-playing game.[30] The game's designer and writer, Yoshiro Kimura, went on to create Chulip (2002) and Little King's Story (2009), and founded the indie game studio Onion Games.[29]

Indie developer Toby Fox cited Moon as a major inspiration behind his 2015 role-playing video game Undertale. While he had not actually played the game because it was in Japanese, he was inspired by the game's concepts. He noted that Moon was "an adventure game where you enter the world of an RPG where a 'Hero' has caused havoc" and "the point of the game is to repair the damage the 'Hero' caused and increase your LV" (Love Level) "by helping people instead of hurting them."[31][32]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Japanese: ムーンリミックスRPGアドベンチャー Hepburn: Moon Rimikkusu RPG Adobencha

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Klepek, Patrick. "A Game Without Killing: The Story of Moon's 22-Year Journey to Leave Japan". www.vice.com.
  2. ^ a b Wyrdwad (May 14, 2006). "RPGFan Reviews - Moon". RPGFan.com. Archived from the original on May 14, 2007. Retrieved October 28, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Bruno de Figueiredo. "LOVE-de-LIC". GameSpy.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2008.
  4. ^ "Weekly Famitsu ~ May 23, 1997 ~". NCSX.com. May 23, 1997. Archived from the original on November 20, 2006. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
  5. ^ "伝説のRPG『moon』20年目の同窓会──ラブデリックメンバーが語る、ディレクター3人という奇跡のような開発スタイル…そして「あのころ」の始まりと終わり【座談会】". Denfamico Gamer. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Wyrdwad. "RPGFan Soundtracks - The Sketches of Moondays: We Kept Our Promise To You". RPGFan.com. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved October 23, 2008.
  7. ^ "Melody of Legend ~ Chapter of Dream". Chudahs-Corner.com. Archived from the original on March 2, 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2008.
  8. ^ "close up #005 Moon Sound Track "Mburrn"". Olio-Music.jp. Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved November 1, 2008.
  9. ^ "close up #007 Moon Sound Track "Mburrn" vol. 2". Olio-Music.jp. Archived from the original on April 2, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2008.
  10. ^ "close up #009 Moon Sound Track "Mburrn" vol. 3". Olio-Music.jp. Archived from the original on April 2, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2008.
  11. ^ "close up #011 "Mburrn" presents Ten Years After". Olio-Music.jp. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2008.
  12. ^ "月夜の阿呆鳥―Moon side story (じゅげむBOOKS) (単行本)". Amazon.co.jp. Archived from the original on September 15, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2008.
  13. ^ IGN staff (October 7, 1997). "Ascii Drops RPG". IGN.com. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
  14. ^ IGN Staff (August 4, 1997). "Ascii Speaks". IGN.com. Archived from the original on February 18, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2008.
  15. ^ Sgeos. "Unofficial Moon Translation Project". Sennue.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
  16. ^ "Moon: Remix RPG Adventure PSX Translation". Archived from the original on January 9, 2013. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  17. ^ moon [Nintendo Direct 2019.9.5], archived from the original on September 5, 2019, retrieved September 5, 2019
  18. ^ @oniongames (September 4, 2019). "It's true! Onion Games is bringing the cult-classic 'anti-RPG' MOON to the Nintendo Switch" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ Kohler, Chris. "22 Years Later, A Major Milestone For RPGs Is Finally Coming West". Kotaku. Archived from the original on September 16, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  20. ^ Romano, Sal (July 29, 2020). "Moon for Switch launches August 27 in the west". Gematsu. Archived from the original on July 30, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  21. ^ "Moon: Remix RPG Adventure". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 15, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  22. ^ "Review: Moon". Destructoid. Archived from the original on September 5, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  23. ^ "'97年 - MOON". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 379. ASCII Corporation. December 26, 1997. p. 137.
  24. ^ "Moon Review – The Bright Side". GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 11, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  25. ^ Vogel, Mitch (September 5, 2020). "Review: Moon - This "Anti-RPG" Shows Its Age, But Is Still Worth A Look". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on September 7, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  26. ^ "Moon Review - Review". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on September 11, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  27. ^ "Top 120 Famitsu". Gaming-Age.com. June 2000. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2008.
  28. ^ Klepek, Patrick (March 3, 2003). "Giftpia Preview for GameCube - Gaming Age". Gaming-Age.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2003. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
  29. ^ a b "Remix RPG Adventure moon revived for Nintendo Switch after 22 years, for the first time in English!". Gamasutra. September 5, 2019. Archived from the original on September 15, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  30. ^ Kim, Matt T.M. (September 5, 2019). "Cult Classic PS1 'Anti-RPG' Moon Is Coming to the Nintendo Switch in English". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on September 14, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  31. ^ Oxford, Nadia (August 28, 2020). "The Story of Moon, the "Anti-RPG" That Inspired Undertale". USgamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on September 3, 2020. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  32. ^ Fox, Toby (November 17, 2017). "I want to mention another inspiration for UNDERTALE". Twitter. Archived from the original on September 10, 2020. Retrieved September 1, 2020.

External linksEdit