Princess Maker 2

Princess Maker 2 is the second installment in the Princess Maker series of life simulation games developed by the Japanese company Gainax. It has been translated into English, Korean, and Chinese.

Princess Maker 2
Princess Maker 2 Cover.jpg
Developer(s)Gainax
Publisher(s)Gainax
Designer(s)Takami Akai
Masato Kato
Composer(s)Masahiro Kajihara
SeriesPrincess Maker
Platform(s)PC-98, FM Towns, PC Engine, Sega Saturn, MS-DOS, Windows, Macintosh, GP32, PlayStation 2[1]
Release1993
Genre(s)Raising Simulation
Mode(s)Single player

In this fantasy game, the player takes role of a war hero who raises a girl to the age of 18. At the end of the game, the daughter goes into a line of work; what this work is, how much talent she has for it, her marital life, and her overall happiness all depend on the player's actions.

GameplayEdit

 
English version screenshot

The game takes place in a fantasy world roughly modeled after medieval Europe.[2] The starting year is given as 1210 K.D. The player's character is a famous warrior who defended the kingdom from an invasion by Lucifon, the Prince of Darkness (a corruption of Lucifer); consequently, he is known throughout the land as a military hero and receives an annual salary from the palace. One night, he receives a communication from a god whose identity is determined by the birth-date the player selects at the beginning of the game. This god bestows upon the mentioned player a child of the heavens, and it is their duty to raise her from the age of 10 to the age of 18, at which point she will enter a line of work; the most desirable outcome is that of a royal princess.

The daughter has a set of statistics that fluctuate depending on the activities the player assigns to her schedule, including various part-time jobs, schooling, adventure, and free time. It is these statistics that ultimately determine her final occupation, her skill level in her line of work, and her overall happiness in life; her marital fate is also decided, in part, by these statistics. The game also makes use of some invisible statistics to determine the occurrence of certain special events.

The god who visits the father is the daughter's patron god. That patron determines her starting statistics in a way that is loosely related to the god's role in the Roman pantheon; for example, a girl born under Mars begins the game with an advantage in fighting reputation. The game features 74 possible endings.[1]

DevelopmentEdit

In Japan at this time, most child rearing was done by females in the household since the males tended to be more career focused. Designer Takami Akai explained that "To play this game means to do something you want to but can't", adding that a father would not be allowed to manage his daughter's life because they would complain too much.[2]

ReleaseEdit

Princess Maker 2 Refine
Developer(s)Gainax/GeneX
Publisher(s)
  • JP: CyberFront
  • WW: CyberFront Korea
Designer(s)Takami Akai
Composer(s)Masahiro Kajihara
SeriesPrincess Maker
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Release
  • JP: 30 September 2004
  • WW: 28 September 2016
Genre(s)Life simulation game
Mode(s)Single player

The SNES version of the game, titled Legend of Another World, which features a new cast of characters.[citation needed] The daughter does not have a default name, but is named Melody Blue in o Go! Go! Princess, and the player's butler's name is Raphael.[citation needed] The combat and adventure systems are redesigned. In combat, the daughter's actions are now determined by cards that are played during battle, along with the stats built up through schooling and jobs.[citation needed]

Along with the original Princess Maker 1, Princess Maker 2 has received a newer "refined" remake for Windows. The overall graphics and sound quality of the game have been improved, along with various other elements.

An English-language version of Princess Maker 2 Refine was released via Steam in Fall 2016.[3]

ReceptionEdit

The game was released to largely critical praise. Next Generation reviewed the PC version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "This is the strangest game to hit the U.S. PC market in years, and on a certain level, Ignite should be commended for taking the chance to release it. Whether it can, or maybe even should, find an audience is another matter."[4]

Etsuko Yamashita, a Women's studies professor at Japan Women's University was critical of the game and likening the content of the game to incest. In regards to the game being popular among college and high school males, she remarked "You might think that the younger generation has a better sense of gender equality, but this game proves it's not necessarily true."[2]

Reviewing the 2016 English Refine release, Hardcore Gamer gave the game a score of 4 out of 5 and called it "absolutely a blast all these years later", although criticising the translation, which at times said the opposite of what actually happened or left the endings voiced in Japanese unsubtitled.[5]

Leaked early English versionEdit

Before the 2016 release, a fully translated English version of the game had been circulating in the Internet, garnering a following. Its developer was SoftEgg, in 1995 a company of four people; none of their attempts at finding a distributor for their localisation came through, with one candidate, Intracorp, becoming bankrupt. It was eventually leaked online against SoftEgg's wishes. One SoftEgg member apologised to Takami Akai by presenting to him a custom version and full manual and saying: "I’ve been a bad father, the daughter has turned out poorly. I am returning her to you now." Nevertheless, people were excited by its mix of gameplay styles unfamiliar outside Japan.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Princess Maker 2". IGN. Archived from the original on 11 May 2021. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Coleman, Joseph (April 7, 1996). "Where Did I Go Wrong? Virtual Daughter Lets Fathers Test Parenting Skills". The Associated Press. The Spokesman-Review. p. 10A. Archived from the original on May 12, 2021.
  3. ^ "Princess Maker 2 Refine coming to PC via Steam in English on October 3". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Finals". Next Generation. No. 32. Imagine Media. August 1997. pp. 119, 124.
  5. ^ Estrada, Marcus (October 14, 2016). "Review: Princess Maker 2 Refine - Hardcore Gamer". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved 2021-05-15.
  6. ^ Kaharl, Jonathan (August 12, 2017). "Princess Maker 2 – Hardcore Gaming 101". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved 2021-05-15.

External linksEdit

JapaneseEdit