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. 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|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation, Nintendo Switch|
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 co-directed by Yoshiro Kimura, Taro Kudo, and Kenichi Nishi. 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, 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.
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 "MoonDisc" artists.
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. 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.
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. English fan translations were attempted but never completed.
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. 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. Tim Rogers, formerly of Kotaku, was confirmed as a writer on the English translation. It was released worldwide on August 27, 2020.
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Moon was praised for its innovation breaking the norm of conventional role-playing games, parodying many aspects of the genre itself. It has been described as an "anti-RPG" for the way it subverts RPG tropes. 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. 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.
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."
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