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ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012


[Thanks to my good friend keroberrycola for the banner image!]

Idol Hakkenden is an adventure game developed by Natsume and released exclusively for the Famicom in 1989. The game takes a number of cues from the innovative and similarly Japanese-only Portopia Serial Murder Case, including its open world-style design and command menu interface, providing an experience that is at once simple but open to a lot of clever puzzle solving. The game takes place over five acts, telling the story of Erika, the youngest granddaughter of a business tycoon, Tomiko. Tomiko is dying, and decides that she will give her inheritance to whoever is the most successful of her grandchildren. While her two sisters are business-savvy, Erika only has her singing voice to fall back on. And so, itís up to the player to guide Erika into becoming a popular idol, and navigating the troublesome world of showbiz. But she won't be able to do it alone! Along the way she'll need to make seven different friends, each with their own skills that can help make Erika an overnight sensation!

Unlike Portopia, Idol Hakkenden is a fairly linear game that requires a lot more trial-and-error than deductive reason to solve its puzzles. However, it has greater ambitions elsewhere. The game has a good sense of humor, with clever writing and even good comedic timing scripted into its dialogue. But more than that, Idol Hakkenden has a heavy emphasis on music, given its idol angle. There are multiple insert songs throughout the gameís story, with included karaoke lyrics to help you follow along with the chiptune melodies. Itís cool to see such an early video game put this extra effort into its aesthetic presentation, especially since this was years before the idol craze would start back up in Japan, and eventually come to the West.





Iím the idol aficionado ChorpSaway and I really like this game! After the release of the translation patch last month, I was instantly charmed by Idol Hakkendenís writing and presentation, and thought it was something that deserved more attention. And so that Iím not just laughing at jokes I already know, Iíve decided to bring along my friend TheJayOfSpade to cheer Erika along as she becomes a worldwide sensation.

Yes, I will be presenting this in video format, since the way the music and story integrate is important enough to see that I donít think another form of presentation would do it justice.









ChorpSaway fucked around with this message at 17:13 on Oct 31, 2018

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Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

Come on, there's no time for idol chitchat, we've got a fortune to inherit!

FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010
If this came out 25 years later, it would have copped a bunch of poo poo for being an SJW non-game, so it must be doing something right. The only thing about it that really shows its age is that Sunshine 60 isn't the tallest building in Tokyo anymore.

Polsy
Mar 23, 2007

Please, it's Zanshine, totally different.

And yeah, I took a look and in the Japanese game that guard speaks some terrible poor-grammar mishmash of French, English and Japanese. I feel sorry for any child trying to read it, though I guess it doesn't matter too much since you can just ask Hoshimi regardless.

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!
This game has an amazing level of charm and I can hardly wait for that final option we have for Erika.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011

I'm not sure there's a great deal of game on display here exactly, but it's got quite a lot of charm. I'm enjoying this.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:



Today, it's time to start looking for some vocal training! Erika learns of a legendary enka singer who's living out their retirement in the country, someone who had the power of the Miracle Voice. With nothing better to do, she sets off to find this singer, but it's never as easy as it sounds. She'll have to face down biker gangs, ghosts, and even an extended interpretive dance sequence in order to get singing lessons!

Hwurmp
May 20, 2005

I LIKE TO MAKE VAGUE THREATS TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE I AM TOUGH GUY. P.S. ASK ME ABOUT THE TIME A GIRL BEAT ME UP IN GRADE SCHOOL. HER NAME WAS SUZIE SHE DREW A BIG WEINER ON MY FOREHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


tag urself

FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010
Man, nice Nostradamus ref. Thanks to a particular book from the 70s, the 1999 "great King of Terror" thing in particular is pretty well-known in Japan. Even in 2011, it still had enough pop-cultural currency to have a major story element in Disgaea 4 named after it.

SelenicMartian
Sep 14, 2013

Sometimes it's not the bomb that's retarded.

I'm hard.

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

FractalSandwich posted:

Man, nice Nostradamus ref. Thanks to a particular book from the 70s, the 1999 "great King of Terror" thing in particular is pretty well-known in Japan. Even in 2011, it still had enough pop-cultural currency to have a major story element in Disgaea 4 named after it.

I learned about the whole thing from Sgt. Frog for cryin' out loud.

Admiral H. Curtiss
May 11, 2010

I think there are a bunch of people who can create trailing images. I know some who could do this as if they were just going out for a stroll.
This game is super cute. I wonder how many more Famicom games like this exist that we've never heard of before.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012


Most definitely the dude being cut off by the left border.



Admiral H. Curtiss posted:

This game is super cute. I wonder how many more Famicom games like this exist that we've never heard of before.

When I found out about Idol Hakkenden, it was attached to a release of a translation for another Famicom game called Detective Sanma which is this comedy murder mystery adventure game where all of the characters are 80's Japanese comedians. I haven't jumped into that as of yet but yeah it really makes me wonder what other gems might have gone unnoticed, lost to history.

Flac
Sep 6, 2010

supposedly it frees you from anxiety and nihilism
this fan translation is sooo good, i don't know how to explain why that is. the way everything is played so straight, i guess? it makes everything about this extra bizarre, i love it.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:



Today, let's get things figured out for our debut! Now that Erika has acquired the Miracle Voice, it's time to pick out a song for her first single. Yachiyo talks about a legendary pop song that's been locked away by the fat cat execs in showbiz, so of course that means Erika has to have it! Time to break into some studios to find this song! However, it seems that a villain is finally making their move from the shadows, carefully watching Erika and her friends...

ChorpSaway fucked around with this message at 18:37 on Oct 26, 2018

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011

It's kind of funny that characters still move their mouths while there's descriptions in their dialogue. It's like Momomi is explaining that she is in fact a nerd with an encyclopedic knowledge of idols.

Hwurmp
May 20, 2005

I LIKE TO MAKE VAGUE THREATS TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE I AM TOUGH GUY. P.S. ASK ME ABOUT THE TIME A GIRL BEAT ME UP IN GRADE SCHOOL. HER NAME WAS SUZIE SHE DREW A BIG WEINER ON MY FOREHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Erika should sing about skulling people with a bat

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!
This game is being really creative with the puzzle solutions and that makes me very, very happy.

Also, it made you brain your friend with a bat to make them more powerful. :allears:

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

:siren: UPDATE TIME! :siren:



Today, things take a turn for the worse! While Erika prepares for her big debut, song and Miracle Voice in hand, it turns out Hoshimi has been kidnapped right from their base! And so it's time for Erika to come face-to-face with the Kooky King, to negotiate the release of her friend, but things take a turn for the worse as she's sent deep into the Kooky King's lair. Will she be able to fight her way out against the King's mightiest underlings, or will she go full kooky in this awful maze?

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011

"I'm so moved by your kindness in giving that man the song he asked for, after I stabbed him with a knife"

I love that the zaniness of the game is an actual plot point. It's really growing on me.

I do wonder about some of the translation. "Act Dumb" feels like it'd probably be more accurate to call "Lie", but maybe there's a more nuanced term in Japanese that isn't translating well?

TheMajinZenki
Aug 17, 2005

Tenebrais posted:

I do wonder about some of the translation. "Act Dumb" feels like it'd probably be more accurate to call "Lie", but maybe there's a more nuanced term in Japanese that isn't translating well?

The original command is とぼける (tobokeru).

It's a bit hard to convey, and "act dumb" was the closest I could manage.

FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010
I've heard that My Raison d'Etre Is Going Through Gestaltzerfall is pretty good as far as light novels go.

ChorpSaway
Oct 9, 2012

:siren: FINAL UPDATE TIME! :siren:



Today, it's time for the final confrontation! With the Kooky Kuartet bested, the only thing standing between Erika and Hoshimi is the King himself! However, some shocking revelations may shake Erika to the very core. Will Erika be able to stop the King, save her friend, and still be able to debut before time is up? Or will she fall to the King and go full kooky?

Thanks for watching, and I hope y'all enjoyed this look into an obscure game with an unlikely translation and a truly remarkable amount of charm! Now where's the Idol Hakkenden modern revival, Natsume??
The next LP thread with the full crew will be going up later today, so stay tuned for that! Truly this is a happy Halloween.

FractalSandwich
Apr 25, 2010
If I may speak freely, you should have made Jay sing You Are the Ditzy Girl with you. Where's your "yes, and", Chorps?

I'll say this much: this game is pretty good.

TheMajinZenki
Aug 17, 2005



Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the game! By the way, I think this is meant to be the official vocal version of the song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBTfv1gPzkw

Hwurmp
May 20, 2005

I LIKE TO MAKE VAGUE THREATS TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET BECAUSE I AM TOUGH GUY. P.S. ASK ME ABOUT THE TIME A GIRL BEAT ME UP IN GRADE SCHOOL. HER NAME WAS SUZIE SHE DREW A BIG WEINER ON MY FOREHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I guess that's the way

the kooky crumbles

Tuxedo Ted
Apr 24, 2007

What a weird and wonderful game. Thanks for showing it off, I'd never have found it myself.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011

Ah, short but sweet. This game was awesome. Incredibly kooky!


Also I'm pretty sure the gang leader girl achieved literally nothing in the entire game

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bbcisdabomb
Jan 15, 2008

SHEESH
That was one of the most charming games I have seen this year.

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